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: 8/10/2000 at 13:26 utc
Launch site: Lynn Lake Airport, Manitoba, Canada  
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 1.100.000 m3 - SF3-39.57-.8/.8/.8/.8-NHR
Balloon serial number: W39.57-3-21
Flight identification number: 486N
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/12/2000 at 12:09 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 47 h 23 m
Landing site: 31 miles SE of High Prairie, Alberta, Canada

The balloon was launched by dynamic method using a crane as launch vehicle on August 10th at 8:26 local time (13:26 utc).

Float altitude was attained 2.5 hours later. The overall flying path was due west (see in the map at left the red route) and the duration of the entire flight was 47 hours and 23 minutes.

The balloon was terminated August 12th, at 12:20 utc in coordinates 55º8'N-116º19.2'W.

The payload landed at 12:49 utc in coordinates 55º 13,3' N - 115º 42.8'W in southwestern Alberta province. The payload was recovered the following day and sent by truck and train back to Lynn Lake.

External references

Images of the mission


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