Ball Aerospace has handed over to the University of Arizona a low-heat leak tank designed to support a NASA balloon mission throughout its entire flight.
The cryostat houses liquid helium and will work to maintain the coolness of the Galactic/Extragalactic Ultralong-Duration Balloon Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory, or GUSTO, instrument, the company said Thursday.
Built under NASA’s Astrophysics Explorers Program, GUSTO will work to validate the life cycle of interstellar gas, study the creation and destruction of star-forming clouds and observe gas flow by mapping out various locations within the Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud galaxies.
“We are honored to work with the University of Arizona on NASA’s GUSTO mission, which will measure emissions form the interstellar medium, or the cosmic material found between stars,” said Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager of civil space at Ball.
The instrument is slated to take off from Antarctica in 2021. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory will handle mission operations while Chris Walker, a representative from the University of Arizona, will serve as principal investigator.