On Thursday night, NASA and the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) launched the balloon borne AESOP (Anti-Electron Sub Orbital Payload) instrument from Esrange Space Center.
|AESOP ready to launch.
The balloon reached an altitude of 41.3 km and is now on its way to Canada where it will land in about 4-6 days.
“We are very pleased to announce that an additional balloon borne experiment within the NASA summer campaign has been successfully launched, says Tomas Hedqvist, project manager at Esrange Space Center. As we can offer world class facilities and an ideal launch location for astronomy measurements on polar latitudes the scientists keep coming back to launch their payloads several times.
“AESOP has flown from Esrange two times before, in 2005 and 2006, and so far the payload is sending back beautiful data, says Dr. John Clem, head of the AESOP team. “We’re working to better understand how the sun's changing magnetic field affects cosmic ray transport through the solar system”, he concludes.
The AESOP instrument is designed to have a similar energy response to LEE, our first payload that was launched from Esrange on 26 May. In addition AESOP resolves positrons and negatrons. The primary goal of the AESOP instrument is to investigate the charge-sign dependence in solar modulation, the Sun’s influence on Galactic cosmic rays. The level of solar activity rises and falls over a period of approximately 11 years and influences cosmic ray intensity. As solar activity rises, cosmic ray activity decreases. The anti correlation between cosmic ray fluxes and the level of solar activity (solar modulation) is caused by magnetic field fluctuations carried by the solar wind that scatter charged particles out of the solar system and/or decelerate them. Certain features in the large scale geometry of the magnetic field is expected to produce a charge-sign dependency.
The next scientific instrument within the NASA summer campaign, Hi-Wind, will be ready for launch within a week.
The NASA summer campaign (LEE, AESOP, Hi-Wind)
Tha launch of LEE on 26 May
The AESOP web site
Follow the AESOP flight in "LDB Relayed Real Time GPS Data"
For further information contact
Tomas Hedqvist, project manager at Esrange Space Center
+46 980 720 16 or +46 70 517 20 16