Launch Part III: Launch

Holy Crap! We Launched!

Holy Crap! We Launched!

The final installment in my agonizingly prolonged series of posts about launch day. This picks up with the beginning of inflation, and ends when everyone goes inside to start doing real work. Or, at least […]

Launch Part II: Until Inflation

Group Photo

Group Photo

The second phase of my launch pictures starts with rollout of all the equipment to the pad. Mark, Matt and Elio also head out because they need to physically interact with the gondola. Eventually they radio for me with the “urgent” […]

Launch Part I: Preparation

Wider View

Wider View

For the first phase of launch photos, I have preparation. This is from when we arrive in the morning (actually people like Matt start preparation before that by sending commands from their dorm rooms) to when we roll out for the […]

Launch: Panoramas

From the Deck

From the Deck

Because I recently learned how to use a panorama stitching tool (you probably noticed), I felt like taking several panoramas on launch day—especially when it became clear that we would actually launch. But because I am now really […]

Launch!

At a little after 17:00 local time, BLAST-Pol launched! I have almost one thousand photos to sort through, and they will appear once I have a chance to do so.

As a bonus, in the launch date pool I had predicted today at 16:00. I am thus the winner of a “fabulous prize”.

Castle Rock, Take Two

More Laura Climbing

More Laura Climbing

Yesterday, having scrubbed in advance, we had Christmas off. So, with Laura, Nick, Tristan, and Matt, I went to Castle Rock again. Unlike the first time, we decided to climb the rock, and we brought trays from […]

Christmas in McMurdo

VMF

VMF

Two days ago, on Christmas Eve, the BLAST team showed up to work and halfheartedly ran through the pre-flight checklist. The weather was poor, and we were pretty certain we weren’t even going to go outside for pickup. We didn’t. Early in the morning, […]

Not a Launch (Take One)

Still Hanging

Still Hanging

Yesterday we came in to a weather forecast of “Legitimate Marginal”. This means there could very well be a launch opportunity, but the conditions probably wouldn’t get perfect—just acceptable. In the spectrum of marginality, this is a fairly positive forecast.

So, […]

Not a Launch Day

Fog

Fog

Today is not a launch day. With CREAM having gone off yesterday, logistical restrictions prevented another launch today—independent of all other concerns. The weather has decided not to taunt us with unusable good weather. This is a small relief.

Tomorrow, on the other hand, […]

CREAM Launched!

Watching it Go

Watching it Go

Yesterday CREAM finally launched. They were ready early in the campaign, and had been waiting a long time—first for the circumpolar winds to set up, and then for good launch weather. This means that BLAST is up next!