Purpose of the flight and payload description

The COMICS mission was the first flight of the Strato Science 2023 campaign aimed to perform a series of experiments in a multi-instrument platform. At left we can see an scheme of distribution of the payloads in the gondola (click to enlarge).

It used as platform CARMENCITA a multi-payload stabilized gondola originally introduced in late 2012 by the Nacelles Pointees (Pointed Platforms) CNES team, which was developed with several concepts in mind: modularity to allow the inclusion of several instruments devoted to the same or different research areas in one mission, reusability to overcome the difficult to adapt a platform specifically designed around an instrument to another (reducing costs and developing times), and finally cargo volume which is maximized to allow the installation of many instruments.

Onboard the gondola were installed the following instruments: CORMAG a coronal magnetograph aimed at studying the magnetic field topology of the solar corona which was developed by the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF) from Italy, MIPFS or Miniature Imaging Fabry-Perot Spectrometer developed by the University of York in Canada, ECAPS (Experimental Characterization of Advanced Photovoltaics in the Stratosphere) aimed at the characterization of performance of a number of different solar cells in the stratospheric environment developed at the Universitá de Pisa from Italy, CUBALLOON a technological demonstrator of cubesat platform aimed to detecting gamma rays developed at the University of Perugia from Italy and finally the PIX particle detector developed by CNES from France.

Video footage of the launch of COMICS mission

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 8/8/2023 at 11:00 utc
Launch site: Timmins Stratospheric Balloon Base, Ontario, Canada  
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon model 150z Hemeria 150.000 m3
Flight identification number: NIMBUS-1
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/8/2023 at 18:45 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 7 h 45 m
Landing site: In the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve, Ontario, Canada
Payload weight: 1150 kgs

External references

Images of the mission

  Main balloon inflation (Image: Remy Grenier)      

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