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BRRISON Mission to Comets

Goals: BRRISON - or Balloon Rapid Response for ISON - is a stratospheric science balloon designed to capture unique images and data from comet ISON as it passes through the inner solar system. The balloon will carry a telescope and science instruments 37 km (23 miles) above the Earth's surface to scan the passing comet for clues to the origins of our solar system. The one day flight also will be a test to demonstrate the capability of science balloons to contribute to planetary science from high altitude.

Accomplishments: The science payload suffered an anomaly following launch, preventing the payload from collecting mission data. About two and a half hours after BRRISON's launch, the 0.8-meter telescope on the gondola returned to a stowed position too rapidly, driving the telescope past a stow latch. The telescope was unable to be redeployed despite numerous attempts. The cause of the anomaly is under investigation.

Key Dates
28 Sep 2013:  Launch
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
BRRISON Facts BRRISON is the first planetary balloon mission in 50 years. The last was 1963's Stratoscope II balloon to observe planets, stars and galaxies.

The balloon and payload will be taller than the Washington Monument (204.5 meters or 671 feet). The monument is 169.3 meters (555.4 feet tall).

The mission will last about one day and carry up to 8,000 pounds of science equipment.

The balloon will fly at an altitude of 33,528 to 42,672 meters (110,000 to 140,000 feet).
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Last Updated: 29 Sep 2013