Carolyn and I have fallen a bit behind with the blog lately, mostly due to a lot of work and stress leading up to our compatibility test and hang test. These tests are to verify all the communications are functioning and make sure that our instrument is works as expected when put together with everything that CSBF adds. We passed those tests last Friday and Saturday, and are now ready to launch!
Over the weekend, we had heard that there would be bad weather until late this week, so we thought we had a few days to really calibrate before we would be asked to show. This morning at around 10am, we found out that tomorrow is a possible launch day in terms of weather, and CSBF told us we would be showing for a launch attempt. We’ll be rolling out at 3:30 AM on Tuesday, Dec 9 (McMurdo time, which is also New Zealand time).
Since this morning, we have been finishing up everything that absolutely has to happen before launch. Because we are rolling out so early, we’ll be starting to check that everything is completely ready to go at around 1am. We decided to just stay at LDB all night to make sure we finish everything.
Now that I’ve summarized the afternoon, I’ll be trying to update the rest of this launch attempt in real time (NASA will also be doing updates here: http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/antarctica/ice.htm)
9:30 PM: Carolyn found the rest of the chocolate that Steve left for us. Brent started the awesome COSI playlist he made to get us all super excited about COSI and launch!
12:00AM: (written by Carolyn)
I stole Clio’s camera (She’s taking short nap on the cot. If you’ve seen Clio without much sleep then you’ll understand why we approve so highly of this.) because the view outside was breathtaking, as usual. What a nice day to try and launch!
1:00 AM: (written by Clio)
1:00 AM means it’s time to start the going through the roll out checklist! The checklist is basically a list of things to do before rolling out to the flight line. We need to make sure that all systems are working properly, so we’ll do things like confirm everything is screwed in right, triple check for grounding issues, and check that everything can be turned on and off without problems.
Even though we aren’t rolling out until 3:30, we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to go through the checklist, as we’ve never gone through it as thoroughly as we want to for launch.
The CSBF guys showed up and brought us pizza! We got an update from the weather guy: the weather doesn’t look promising, but for now we’re going to proceed anyway. It’s hard to forecast here, so I guess you never know.
4:15 AM: We’re officially buttoned up to roll out. We put on the side panels and Carolyn taped the rest of the temperature sensors in place.
4:40 AM: We’ve rolled out and are checking to make sure all our systems are running normally. We had some issues with noise last week, so we are making sure they aren’t coming back. So far, it looks good!
5:40 AM: The Boss lifted up our gondola, and our gondola is going to be hanging there for the next 20ish minutes while we check some more things. We need to make sure that we’re still receiving data and can still send commands, in addition to anything else on the checklist that I’ve forgotten about (that’s why the checklist exists!). Chris has to check out some of his stuff as well. Once we confirm everything is ok, we’ll start heading over to the launch pad.
There’s still no weather data, because the weather stations around here are down. If we don’t ever get any data, then they will have to cancel the launch. We weren’t expecting to launch until 10am, though, so there’s still a chance.
I’m starting to feel pretty wiped out, as is everyone else. I feel like I’m having a lot of trouble forming coherent sentences (so hopefully this section of the blog makes sense…). Hopefully I’ll have the energy to keep posting! Maybe after a nap….
7:30 AM: During my nap over the past hour, the launch got called off due to weather. There might be another launch opportunity on Thursday, so we’ll see how that goes!