Purpose of the flight and payload description

INFOCµS is a balloon-borne instrument incorporating recent breakthroughs in focusing optics and detectors to achieve order of magnitude improvements in both hard X-ray sensitivity and imaging resolution, with high resolution spectroscopy. This instrument is a pioneering effort to extend into the hard X-ray energy range the power of focusing optics that has revolutionized X-ray astronomy with missions like ROSAT and ASCA.

The telescope is conical approximation of Wolter-I optics with 8m focal length and 40cm diameter. It employed 255 nested ultra-thin reflector pairs, or supermirrors that reflected hard X-rays by Bragg reflection at incidence angles larger than the critical angle of total external reflection.

Details of the balloon flight

Balloon launched on: 7/5/2001 at 1:11 utc
Launch site: Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine, Texas, US  
Balloon launched by: National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon Raven - 39.570.000 cuft - SF3-39.57-.8/.8/.8-NA
Balloon serial number: W39.57-2-28
Flight identification number: 1577P
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 7/6/2001 at 8:05 utc
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): 7 h 32 m
Landing site: 40 miles NE of Midland, Texas, US

External references

Images of the mission

Spool and balloon bubble release Initial ascent phase Landing site

After running StratoCat in an "advertising free" basis for 16 years, I've joined "Ko-Fi" to get funding for the research I do. If you find this website interesting or useful, you can help me to keep it up and running.