Purpose of the flight and payload description
At the beginning of each stratospheric balloon launch campaign, the balloon division of the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) performs an initial launch denominated "opening flight" whose goal is to test in one flight several systems (ground to balloon communications, telemetry, localization, etc.) which will be used during the rest of the missions to be carried out during that particular campaign.
Sometimes, these flights are also used to send aloft small scientific experiments.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 1/15/2002 at 16:20
Launch site: European Space Range, Kiruna, Sweden
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon model 50SF
Balloon serial number: 50SF Nº 18
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 1/15/2002 at 20:00
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 3 h 35 m
Campaign: ARCHEOPS II
Payload weight: 425 kgs
Gondola weight: 125 kgs