Purpose of the flight and payload description
This flight was aimed to drop test three designs of capsules from a stratospheric balloon over the European Space Range.
On each flight will be tested two capsules of similar design: a full-scale vehicle will replicate the final descent from Mach 0.8 of the flight design while a sub-scale version of the same design will test the shape at up to Mach 1.5 by first accelerating in an aerodynamic fairing before starting measurements.
The capsules are candidates for returning scientific samples from asteroids, comets or Mars in future ESA missions. These missions require capsules which are stable throughout entry and descent without the need for a parachute.
Three candidate designs have been chosen: two are similar to the Japanese Hayabusa asteroid sample return capsule and the third is based on the ESA Huygens probe.
Details of the balloon flight
Balloon launched on: 8/5/2015 at 6:03 utc
Launch site: European Space Range, Kiruna, Sweden
Balloon launched by: Swedish Space Corporation (SSC)
Balloon manufacturer/size/composition: Zero Pressure Balloon model 50SF Zodiac 50.000 m3
End of flight (L for landing time, W for last contact, otherwise termination time): 8/5/2015
Balloon flight duration (F: time at float only, otherwise total flight time in d:days / h:hours or m:minutes - ): ~ 4 h