Launch Day!

If you’ve been following our Twitter, you’ll know that we had a successful launch yesterday! I think it’s safe to say that we were all pretty surprised: from the forecast, it looked like the winds might not line up right and that there might be some safety issues with the trajectory as the balloon ascended to float altitude. But everything turned around, and we had a great launch on a beautiful day!

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Helium, balloon, parachute, launch vehicle and COSI on the flight line

COSI hanging from the launch vehicle

COSI hanging from the launch vehicle

The riggers laying out the balloon. The balloon is wrapped in the pink plastic, and being taken out of its box on the truck.

The riggers laying out the balloon. The balloon is wrapped in the pink plastic, and being taken out of its box on the truck.

The balloon on the spool

The balloon on the spool

The balloon, the launch vehicle, and COSI

The balloon, the launch vehicle, and COSI

Inflating the tow balloon

Inflating the tow balloon

The tow balloon, the main balloon, and COSI

The tow balloon, the main balloon, and COSI (this plane was in the way of a lot of my photos)

Partial group picture while waiting for the balloon to inflate

Partial group picture while waiting for the balloon to inflate

We tried to do a group high five, but it didn't work out that well

We tried to do a group high five, but it didn’t work out that well

Release of the tow balloon

Release of the tow balloon

The tow balloon going up

The tow balloon going up

The tow balloon coming down

The tow balloon coming down

The balloon going up!

The balloon going up!

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Releasing the payload

Releasing the payload

Close up of COSI ascending

Close up of COSI ascending

The balloon and COSI heading up

The balloon and COSI heading up

The balloon as a little spec

The balloon as a little spec

We’ve been monitoring COSI since launch and it’s looking good! We’re also packing up the lab so that we can come home. Once there, we’ll be doing more monitoring and analysis. Check out CSBF’s website to see COSI’s trajectory as it goes around the earth!  (http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/map/balloon9/flight669nt.htm)

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