After a 16.5 day flight, SPIDER has landed. Due to proximity of field camps and fear of drifting over the ocean, we terminated far from McMurdo. Recovering our data will be a fun adventure. But for now it’s time for Sunday brunch. (Map made by John Ruhl) […]

Launch! (Continued)

SPIDER sweater spectators To start the new year, SPIDER launched! After a frantic night and early morning of hurried preparations, we spent much of the day waiting on the weather. Excitement rapidly increased in the afternoon when the winds settled down and the balloon was unboxed and inflated. After pausing to celebrate a successful day of launch operations, we ran inside to start monitoring SPIDER as she ascends. The first day of flight is exhausting, busy, and precious. While we can still see SPIDER, we have fast radio telemetry, which we use to get everything tuned and calibrated. Now SPIDER is happily scanning the sky. […]


Nat With other launches complete, and SPIDER all finished, we’re ready to get together with The Boss for our official pre-flight compatibility check. I get excited because this is the first time I see SPIDER outside (having missed other outings while on night shift). Because this process involves SPIDER sitting outside for a while on a beautiful day, we take lots of photos—including portraits with out soon-to-depart telescope. […]


SPIDER launched yesterday! At almost exactly the start of the new year back home, this is an excellent way to start 2015. (More to come, once I’ve rested.) […]