BARREL (Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses) is a multiple-balloon investigation that will study Earth's Radiation Belts.
Atmospheric losses of relativistic electrons play an important role in radiation belt dynamics; precipitation into the atmosphere may even completely deplete the radiation belts in some cases.
BARREL is the first NASA Living With a Star Geospace Mission of Opportunity, and will support NASA's RBSP (Radiation Belt Storm Probes) mission.
Today our SANAE team had their first successful launch! Halley was acting as their ground station until the balloon reached float altitude of 37 km. Then we handed it over to UC Santa Cruz who are now monitoring the payload. I expect that Brett will be posting some pictures to the blog.
We dedicate this first launch on the first day of the new year to Bob Lin. Without Bob, this project would have never happened, and I definitely wouldn't be here. He is missed and I just hope that we can carry the torch.
The Halley team spent the evening preparing for an early launch tomorrow morning. We did our pre-launch brief and will get up early to shoot for a 7AM UT launch. Stay tuned!