Description of the payload

RAD-X is a high-altitude balloon project aimed to provide first-time indications of how cosmic rays deposit energy at the top of atmosphere - which produce showers of additional particles that increase the energy deposited where commercial airlines fly. This experiment will improve NASA's Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety (NAIRAS) model, which is currently used by public and private entities for informed decision-making about radiation exposure safety for flight crews, the general public, and commercial space operations.

In addition to the primary payload, 100 small student experiments flew on the RaD-X mission as part of the Cubes in Space program. The program provides 11- to 18-year-old middle and high school students a no-cost opportunity to design and compete to launch an experiment into space or into the near-space environment. The cubes measure 4 centimeters by 4 centimeters, about 1.6 inches by 1.6 inches.

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: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Raven - 11.820.000 cuft
Flight identification number: 666N

External references and bibliographical sources

Images of the mission