Text Size

ProtoEXIST Launches from New Mexico
A NASA Scientific Balloon prepares for launch of the ProtoEXIST payload. View Larger Image

The final mission in the 2012 Ft. Sumner Scientific Balloon Campaign took place October 10 with the successful flight of the mission ProtoEXIST from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The primary objective of the ProtoEXIST mission is to validate the new high spatial resolution wide field hard X-ray imager (HXI) in flight as an engineering model for the future MIRAX-HXI orbiting mission scheduled for launch and to observe bright X-ray sources.

The band of hard X-rays observed had never been surveyed with a high-sensitivity, imaging detector with high spatial and spectral resolution.

The 29 million cubic foot balloon floated to an altitude of 123,500 feet for around 8 hours.

The Principal Investigator for ProtoEXIST is Dr. Josh Grindlay of Harvard University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

ProtoEXIST was the fifth and final balloon launch of the 2012 Ft. Sumner, N.M. campaign. All five flights were deemed total successes.

Congratulations to the Balloon Program and the ProtoEXIST team!

For more information about the NASA Balloon program, visit: