(Un-)Packing and Beginnings

Spider-2 finally has a chance to go to the field! After a short notice decision that we’d have a chance to fly this year, we jumped into action spending a frantic month packing. I include a few photos from this time in Princeton, mainly of our cryostat (named Llorothaag, or Lloro for short) going into her box.

First we go to Palestine, TX, and the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility. There we will reassemble and test Spider, and integrate with the NASA electronics.

Lloro’s truck arrived on May 27, the first wave of people arrived on May 31, and I came with another wave the day after. Much of the time so far has been spent unpacking and organizing our work area, but we’re also starting on some work and assembly that will take a while: preparing Spider’s six telescope inserts to do science, and preparing to test all of the ambient temperature electronics in the Bemco. The Bemco is a big thermal/vacuum test chamber used to simulate the environment of a balloon payload in the stratosphere.

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