UPDATE:

From David Smith, lead scientist for E-MIST, to Inside Outer Space:

Yes it was a perfect flight, thanks for checking in. Payload worked
as we needed it to, and the gondola was recovered quickly (it’s back at Ft
Sumner already) – we didn’t get a 24 hour float but knew beforehand that was out of reach due to weather conditions.  The float time (8 hrs 20 min) was more than sufficient
for us. Looking forward to analyzing the samples soon!

David

Is the 5th time the charm?

After a string of weather delays, the Exposing Microorganisms in the Stratosphere (E-MIST) 2015 Flight Mission has a good chance of a balloon liftoff this morning.

“Very good sign… high probability of launch this morning,” E-MIST Principal Investigator, David J. Smith at NASA’s Ames Research Center told Inside Outer Space.

E-MIST mounted to the balloon gondola on Sept. 13, 2015 at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. The big red arrow is pointing to E-MIST. Credit: NASA

E-MIST mounted to the balloon gondola on Sept. 13, 2015 at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. The big red arrow is pointing to E-MIST.
Credit: NASA

That payload will be onboard the Long-Duration Balloon (LDB) Test Flight II, departing from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico.

Mars-like conditions

On the E-MIST science flight, researchers will monitor bacterial survival in the Mars analog environment to help NASA predict — and prevent — microbial contamination of the Red Planet by exploring spacecraft.

Earth’s stratosphere mimics key surface conditions on Mars. The air is thin, cold, dry, and irradiated.

The payload will transport known quantities of Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, a highly-resilient bacterial strain originally isolated from a spacecraft assembly facility, to the stratosphere for up to 24 hours.

Pre-launch photo looks down on the E-MIST payload from the top of the balloon gondola at Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. Several instruments/sensors and four sample-holding canisters can be seen on the front face of the payload. Credit: NASA

Pre-launch photo looks down on the E-MIST payload from the top of the balloon gondola at Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. Several instruments/sensors and four sample-holding canisters can be seen on the front face of the payload.
Credit: NASA

 

 

 

The upcoming sendoff into the stratosphere will mark the second flight of the E-MIST hardware — the first full science mission using the system — is from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

Electron micrograph of spores of the bacterium Bacillus pumilus on the E-MIST hardware. Credit: NASA

Electron micrograph of spores of the bacterium Bacillus pumilus on the E-MIST hardware.
Credit: NASA

 

 

 

 

Watch the flight online!

During the experiment, the public can watch the progress of the flight unfold by following the links to Fort Sumner Operations from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility website at:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nas-csbf-operations

Also, you can go to:

http://towerfts.csbf.nasa.gov/

For video on the launch day: click “Near Real Time Video” under “Fort Sumner Operations.” Then click on “Fort Sumner UStream Video Feed.”

For real-time payload position information on the launch day: click “CSBF Test Flight II” listed under the section “Fall 2015 Flights Below.”

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