Get BLAST!ed

I had been working on a special Christmas image for Tristan, since he’d reminded me to DFTBA. However, the launch delayed things. I hope this will keep people satisfied a little longer while I sort through my huge mass of launch-day photos, while also trying to babysit BLAST at float.

During our line-of-sight marathon, while we had lots of data early in the flight, we discovered that the telescope is working quite well—much better than in 2010. We also had a few early troubles: a failed star tracker (one of a redundant pair), and the discovery that high-bandwidth TDRSS downlink had been noisifying our detectors. Thus, we’ve switched to slower and flakier iridium data and embraced the zen of less information (to varying degreess, from person to person). And so, other than a few scare, things are going well. We can only hope that it continues.

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