Purpose of the flight and payload description

This technological flight of the pointed gondola tested the following systems

* two protoypes of wheels with inertia for the control of the nacelle
* stellar sensor ASC DTU (large field multi-stars) equipped with 2 optical heads -the standard head (night), and a head modified for diurnal sky (red filter)- and with a catalogue optimized for stars emitting in that spectrum.
* the stellar sensor Khayyam (small field mono-star)
* a system of imagery made up of 2 cameras (visible and red) to analyze the brightness of the bottom of sky
* a magnetometer DTU (momentary)
* a system of restitution of attitude by GPS (momentary)
* a prototype of system of balancing of the nacelle by transfer of fluid
* the system of nominal unballasting

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 4/22/2002 at 15:49
Launch site: Centre de Lancement de Ballons CLBA, Aire Sur L'Adour, Landes, France  
Balloon launched by: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon model 402z Zodiac - 402.000 m3
Balloon serial number: 402z Nº 85
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 4/22/2002
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 4 h 24 m
Landing site: Near the town of Foix
Payload weight: 783 kgs
Gondola weight: 404 kgs

The balloon was launched by dynamic method with help of auxiliary balloons on april 22th, 2002 at 15.49 UTC.

After a initial ascent phase, float altitude of 40 km was achieved at 18.33 UTC mantaining that flight level during 1 hour and 40 minutes in order to allow the balloon to carry out the transition between the day and the night, and perform the testing of the onboard equipment.

At 20:10 utc the cutdown command was sent and the payload landed near the town of Foix.

External references

Images of the mission

Composite image of the balloon at a height of 40 kms taken from the city of Toulouse using a telescope. The luminous dot in the bottom of the picture is the payload. Image obtained by J.P.Cazard, french astronomer. -=( http://www.      

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