Description of the payload

An instrument to study the characteristics and spectrum of cosmic ray heavy ions and protons at atmospheric levels comparable with the surface of Mars.

The future device will reveal what kind of neutron energy spectrum astronauts are exposed to from neutrons inside a spacecraft, alerting the occupants when dangerous levels occur.

In this experimental flight approximately 750,000 neutrons were detected by two differente detector systems over a period of 22 hours at float altitude.

Also present in the gondola was a secondary experiment called CHESS (Cosmic ray High altitude Experiment by Science Students). It was a science experience performed by Roosevelt High School students to detect cosmic rays.

Finally, also piggybacking on board for this flight, were another high school experiment (ping pong balls in a white cardboard box), and a Discovery Channel high-definition video camera.

Video of the launch operations

Details of the balloon flight and scientific outcome

Launch site: Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, Fort Sumner, (NM), US  
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon 600.000 cu ft3 - SF3-.603-.8/0-NHR
Balloon serial number: R.603-0-01
Flight identification number: 525N

The balloon was launched by dynamic method using launch vehicle (Tiny Tim) on October 9, 2003 at 14:24 utc

Float altitude of near 26 km was achieved at 15:35 utc

The payload was cut down at 15:18 utc on october 10, and landed at 15:48 utc

External references and bibliographical sources

Images of the mission