Purpose of the flight and payload description

The scientific purpose of this flight was to measure the energy spectrum and angular distribution of protons above 60 Mev and alpha particles above 240 Mev in the primary cosmic rays and cosmic ray albedo using a digital spark chamber and associated scintillation counters. The instrumentation was composed of four gaps containing two plates each, a plate being made up of 5-mil wires strung 16 to the inch on an insulating frame; adjacent plates were strung in mutually orthogonal directions. Each wire passed through a magnetic core which was flipped by the spark current, making it possible to examine the state of the core system of each plate electronically to determine the particle path. Planar plastic scintillators on each outside face of the spark gaps triggered the spark-chamber high voltage, and were also used to obtain particle energy information from pulse height analysis.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 7/10/1966
Launch site: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine, Texas, US  
Balloon launched by: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Raven 5.000.000 cuft (0.75 MIL. X-124)
Flight identification number: 229P
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 7/10/1966
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 5h 50m
Landing site: 15 miles W of Pecos, Texas, US
Payload weight: 615 kgs

After a failed attempt to launch this same experiment the day before, the flight of l0 July 1966 was essentially perfect in that the balloon reached the required float altitude for the required time and the gondola was recovered undamaged.

Althought this version of the instrument was capable of a vertical look angle only, the quality of the data from the flight was excellent, and all parts of the system performed well.

External references

If you consider this website interesting or useful, you can help me to keep it up and running with a small donation to cover the operational costs. Just the equivalent of the price of a cup of coffee helps a lot.