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Proceedings Paper

Lessons learned from the investigation of an anomalous termination of BETTII
Author(s): Todd J. Veach; Stephen A. Rinehart; Dale J. Fixsen; Maxime J. Rizzo; Arnab Dhabal; Jordi Vila Hernandez de Lorenzo; Stephen Maher; Elmer Sharp
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Paper Abstract

The Balloon Experimental Twin Telescope for Infrared Interferometry (BETTII) mission launched from Palestine, Texas in June 2017. After an exciting launch and successful cruise, the BETTII gondola suffered an anomalous event at termination. BETTII separated from its parachute and free-fell 136,000 feet into the west Texas desert. This event was classified as a “close-call” and investigated as such. We present here the recovery effort required to find the payload and extract the payload from its impact site. We also present lessons learned from the event and results from the investigation, the design for the next BETTII gondola, and a path forward for return to flight.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10700, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII, 1070028 (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2313019
Show Author Affiliations
Todd J. Veach, Southwest Research Institute (United States)
Stephen A. Rinehart, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Dale J. Fixsen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Maxime J. Rizzo, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Arnab Dhabal, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jordi Vila Hernandez de Lorenzo, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Stephen Maher, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Elmer Sharp, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10700:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII
Heather K. Marshall; Jason Spyromilio, Editor(s)

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