Purpose of the flight and payload description

TC-BIOSEP is the acronym of Temperature-Controlled Biological Samples Exposure Payload a balloon-based biological research platform with the function of active temperature control which was designed to carry out biological exposure scientific experiments in the Earth's stratosphere. The platform was developed at the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

At left we can see a basic scheme of the platform (click to enlarge). The primary goal of the experiment is to expose biological samples to harsh environmental conditions, find highly adaptable biological strains and study their survival and long-term adaptation mechanisms, study their adaptable biological strains, and provide a scientific basis for biological exploration in near space.

The exposure is made in special sealed perfusion biological samples containers made of rubber and silicone which are mounted on a temperature-controlled module. The module counts with a cover which is opened once the balloon reached altitude and closed again before termination.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 9/17/2021 at 7:30 cst
Launch site: Dachaidan district, Qinghai Tibet Plateau, China  
Balloon launched by: Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR-CAS)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon  
Flight identification number: HH-21-5
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 9/17/2021 at 14:30 cst
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 7 h

The balloon was launched from Dachaidan in Qinghai Province, at 7:30 cst on September 17, 2021. After a nominal ascent phase the balloon reached a stable flight altitude of 35 km, and remained there for about four hours. After completing the mission, payload was separated from the balloon and landed safely at 14:30 cst.

During the flight TC-BIOSEP had loaded dozens of organisms such as microorganisms, algae, and nematodes to the stratosphere obatining significant experiment data and showing high reliability without any malfunction during the whole mission.

External references

Images of the mission

Installation of biological samples containers Waiting for launch Balloon inflation Images from onboard cameras during the exposure process in flight  

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