Purpose of the flight and payload description

BESS (Balloon-borne Experiment with a Superconducting Spectrometer) was a joint project of Japanese and US scientists to search for antimatter in the cosmic radiation, as well as measure energy and intensity of less exotic components of the cosmic radiation.

The BESS program had 9 successful flight campaigns since 1993. The instrument has been modified and improved each year.

Historically, the various versions of the BESS instrument have consisted of large solenoidal thin-wall superconducting magnet, a time-of-flight system of scintillation counter hodoscopes, inner drift chambers (IDC), a jet-type drift particle-tracking chamber and an aerogel Cherenkov counter (which replaced outer drift chambers used in the first flights). All the components are arranged in a horizontal cylindrical configuration with the IDC and Jet chambers located inside the warm bore of the magnet.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 8/11/1999 at 13:22 utc
Launch site: Lynn Lake Airport, Manitoba, Canada  
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 1.120.000 m3 - SF3-39.57-.8/.8/.8/.8-NHR
Balloon serial number: W39.57-3-18
Flight identification number: 467N
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/13/1999 at 2:53 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 38 h 22 m (34.8 hr)
Landing site: 22 miles NE of Hotchkiss, Alberta, Canada
Payload weight: 5300 pounds

External references

Images of the mission

BESS: inside the Previous moments before launch of BESS in Lynn Lake - 1999 Ascent initial phase    

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