Purpose of the flight and payload description

The Observatory for Planetary Investigations from the Stratosphere (OPIS) is an instrument developed to enable planetary investigations during a high-altitude balloon flight. The OPIS imaging system was built around a refurbished 21" telescope originally used for the Cassini CIRS mission. A CCD camera was mounted on a translation stage with a filter wheel near the focal point of the telescope. In flight refocusing of the system could be done via the translation stage as the temperature environment changed the focus of the system. The system was controlled with custom built flight software and all data was saved onboard for post-flight processing. The OPIS instrument was mounted on the Wallops Arc Second Pointing (WASP) platform, which provided accurate pointing of the telescope.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 10/8/2014 at 14:00 utc
Launch site: Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, Fort Sumner, (NM), US  
Balloon launched by: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon  
Flight identification number: 656N
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 10/8/2014 at 22:02 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 11 h 2 m
Landing site: 37 miles NW of Childress, Texas, US

External references

Images of the mission


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