Balloon launched on: 1/29/2001 at 13:28 utc
Launch site: European Space Range, Kiruna, Sweden
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon model 150z 150.000 m3
Balloon serial number: 150Z Nº 25
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 1/29/2001 at 23:30 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 10 h
Landing site: In Syktyvkar, Russian Federation
Payload weight: 787 kgs
Gondola weight: 473 kgs
The balloon was launched from ESRANGE by Auxiliary balloon method at 13:30 utc on January 29th, 2001. One hour later, the main window on the cryostat opened and the gondola started being rotated. The experiment was then tuned and the observations of the sky started. Scientific data began being collected when the balloon reached its ceiling at 16:00 UTC at 31.5 km after 2 hours and 30 minutes of ascent in the Arctic night.
The flight ended before reaching the Ural mountains at 23:30 UTC and the gondola touched ground after 40 minutes descent on a parachute. The gondola landed rather well considering the large number of high trees in the landing area. It landed on the deep snow (1.5 meter), flat on its 6 crash pads. The flight chain which included the parachutes and some CNES housekeeping boxes was stopped by some trees, so it did not dragged the experiment. The mirrors of the telescope, the cryostat and its electronics, the onboard data recorder, the Fast Stellar Sensor, the front baffle and most of the aluminium structure were intact. The only damaged part of the gondola was one metal bar and the CNES telemetry. The gondola was carried by helicopter to a nearby path for further packing and returned to Kiruna within a few days.
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