Film Magazine, Far-infrared, Balloon Borne Telescope


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Film Magazine, Far-infrared, Balloon Borne Telescope

Collection Item Summary:

This is a film magazine and supporting parts from the star field camera on the SAO balloon telescope. This experiment was a multi-purpose, multi-institutional telescope facility for infrared astronomical studies. The camera magazine was part of a suite of instruments fed by a balloon-borne Cassegrain telescope with a 102-cm mirror. The telescope was built in 1971 by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and flown nineteen times since 1972; thirteen of those flights were successful. A total of six different infra-red instruments were flown at the focal plane of the mirror. Data gathered with this instrument contributed significantly to the understanding of a number of fundamental astronomical problems and geophysical problems. The gondola system also represents an important stage in the development of stabilized platforms in scientific ballooning.

It was transferred by SAO to NASM in 1996.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


Overall - anodized aluminum, optics, electronics


Overall: 9in. x 1ft 3in. x 1ft 7in. (22.9 x 38.1 x 48.3cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


CRAFT-Balloons & Parts

Inventory Number