Checklist

BLAST!

BLAST!

Yesterday did a fake run-through of our launch-day checklist. This is a very worthwhile exercise as the checklist contains many simple and vital things (like open the window on the telescope). It also contains things like fill cryogens, balance, upload schedules, and generally check […]

Not Launching, Sun Shields

Scheduling Zone

Scheduling Zone

I came in yesterday in hopes of seeing CREAM launch. Otherwise, I would have slept most of the day. CREAM flies on a full-sized balloon, like BLAST, and requires full-sized launch operations. Truly exciting when it happens. However, when instead you […]

BARREL, Take II

Really Moving

Really Moving

Yesterday the second BARREL payload launched. BARREL really has several small payloads, but they’re down here to test fly just two. This is to check the thermal environment flying over the antarctic ice, which reflects a lot of light. Luckily for […]

Re-Weigh-In, Elevation Range

Underexposed Luke

Underexposed Luke

A couple days ago we had a team of riggers and safety folks show up to weigh BLAST again. We thought we’d gained more weight than had been accounted for. Turns out we lost weight, so it was good we remeasured.

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More Odds and Ends

Screw Tightening

Screw Tightening

Yesterday I took more pictures of people doing random jobs buttoning up the gondola. We started the day with a cryogen transfer and final balancing of the inner frame. Then more things were made to be shiny, cables were all checked […]

Odds and Ends

Merry BLAST-mas

Merry BLAST-mas

With compatibility done, we are now firmly in odds-and-ends phase, making sure things are mechanically, thermally, and calibrationally ready to fly. Yesterday we started using up a lot of the scrap aluminized mylar to fill in holes. Lorenzo did some star […]

Mini-Launch, Compatible

Compatibility

Compatibility

Yesterday morning was the first real balloon launch of the season! (And the first launch since the Australia “Mishap”, also available in several forms on youtube.) BARREL is a small payload that requires only a “hand launch” rather that requiring the large […]

Weigh-In

BLAST Hats

BLAST Hats

Vic came by yesterday to give us our official weigh-in. This is one of several fabled portents that a balloon might launch soon. The scale read 4495lbs, but after subtracting CSBF’s electornics, and accounting for a few small changes before launch, […]

Quiet Weekend

PSS

PSS

This past weekend was another quiet one, out at LDB. We’re working on finishing up all the little things that need doing before we fly. The remaining sun shields are being outfitted with mylar, software is being ironed out, and the occasional bug pops […]

The Pad

Left Alone

Left Alone

Two days ago we took BLAST outside to the pad! (After the previous night’s late team fixed the terrible DAS-doesn’t-work-anymore bug we’d created. This is the primary reason I didn’t sleep in, and I’m glad I didn’t—otherwise I would have missed […]