Developed by Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) / NASA Wallops Flight Facility - Balloon Program Office
Balloon launched on 9/23/2019, from Scientific Flight Balloon Facility, Fort Sumner, (NM), US
Purpose of the flight and payload description
The primary objective of the mission was to raise the technology readiness level of several balloon systems in development or already flown. For this purpose a technological square gondola built by the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility was used as we can see in the picture at left. Among the items tested during the flight were the LCT2-20 TDRSS Transceiver, a new lightWeight rotator, a hand launch CDI termination system, the EVTM Test Telemetry System, SPB support systems, and more.
Additionally, the test flight gondola transported several "piggy back" experiments flown as missions of opportunity. The payloads included were:
MARSBOX (Microbes in Atmosphere for Radiation, Survival, and Biological Outcomes eXperiment) a collaboration between the German Aerospace Center (DLR), NASA Ames Research Center and Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which carried different types of microorganisms -bacteria, filamentous fungi (mold) and yeast - inside an aluminum container which were exposed the microbes to simulated Mars amosphere, pressure, temperature and UV-radiation conditions.
GAPS Thermal flight test of a scaled down version of the thermal system of GAPS (General AntiParticle Spectrometer) an balloon mission that will search for low-energy (< 0.25 GeV/n) cosmic-ray antinuclei in a future Antarctic long duration flight.
Several experiments belonging to Cubes in Space an international educational initiative for school children that teaches them how to design STEM -science, technology, engineering and mathematics- experiments for launch into space. The experiments are housed inside small transparent cubes which are then installed inside a specially designed frame that is attached to the external structure of the gondola.
Finally another two experiments: SUPERSEIS and INMEX
Video footage of the full mission
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 9/23/2019 at 14:01 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 Raven Aerostar - W29.47-2X-103 - 29.470.000 cuft Flight identification number: 700NT End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 9/23/2019 at (L) 21:15 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 7 h 15 m Landing site: N of Tecolotito, New Mexico, US
Payload weight: 4420 lbs
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