Purpose of the flight and payload description
MANTRA is a balloon mission to study stratospheric composition, building on the experience gained during the MANTRA 1998, 2000, and 2002 balloon campaigns.
The gondola of this flight comprised 13 scientific instruments. There were three solar pointing Michelson Interferometers from the University of Denver, the University of Waterloo and MSC. The solar elevation table pointed two instruments in elevation, the MSC Maestro and the SPS. Other payload instruments included an MSC OH Spectrometer, two University of Toronto Radiometers, 180° from the sun, two York University spectrometers and one 90° and one 180° from the sun, an MSC Ozonesonde and a University of Toronto SPS B. Mounted above the payload in the flight train was the SAOZ spectrometer.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 9/14/2004 at 2:15 CST
Launch site: Scientific Instrumentation Ltd Balloon Launch Facility, Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada
Balloon launched by: Scientific Instrument Limited
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 9/14/2004 at 2:24 CST
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 8 m
Landing site: 1 km from the launch site
The balloon was launched on September 14. The launch happened at 2:16 AM under calm winds conditions. At launch the termination pack (upper CIP) downlink failed. Shortly after launch both termination systems fired prematurely and the flight was terminated at 2:21 AM. The maximum altitude reached was 2.09 km.
The payload was recovered immediately after the flight termination.
A pre-assessment of the failures was made in the field but all the analyses were not conclusive. Causes for the premature flight termination could not be clearly identified. The science team therefore decided to terminate the campaign on September 15.
This fifth flight and second of the 2004 campaign produced no scientific data due to the premature termination of the flight.