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