I’m saddened to report that the COSI/SPB balloon flight was terminated much earlier than expected. The balloon developed a leak after the first day at float and we decided to increase the chances of instrument recovery this season instead of continuing operations for as long as the balloon maintained altitude. The payload had a smooth landing at about 6:15 am this morning and is currently sitting 350 miles from McMurdo at an elevation of 8000 ft. Hopefully we’ll be able to get out there within the week to recover the hard drives and detectors and whatever else will fit in the plane.
Thank you to everyone who followed the campaign, your positive words were encouraging and inspiring. Thank you to NASA and the SPB program, it was an honour to be able to be the first science flight on this generation of super pressure balloons, too bad we couldn’t kick that 55-day-record’s butt. A huge thanks goes out to all of CSBF, the support you’ve shown us and our science team over the past months has been amazing and your handle on the launch and termination was precise and professional. Here’s to another COSI launch in the super near future!
11:00 PM: Less than 12 hours after the previous attempt got called off, we are heading back to LDB to try again… Continue reading COSI’14 Launch! (Fifth launch attempt)
The last launch attempt was tough. We got so close. Closer than most of us on COSI have ever been to launching a payload that we have worked on. In fact, we got past a point that CSBF said there was no going back from, but then the situation turned a bit dire and we had to back off. Continue reading It’s a harsh continent
Lately, the weather hasn’t been so great, but we’ve been asked to show for launch attempts anyway. Sometimes the weather has been so bad we haven’t even rolled out! The rationale behind showing anyway is that we really don’t want to risk missing a launch opportunity. I think today is the fourth actual attempt, depending on how we count them. Continue reading Fourth (real) launch attempt
We’re aiming for a launch around 7AM – 8AM this morning. I’ll try to update here periodically! Continue reading Second Launch Attempt
ANITA had their 6th roll out this morning and after a few snags they made it out to the flight line and had a gorgeous launch! For many of us, on COSI and ANITA, this was the first balloon launch we’ve witnessed live. It was remarkable. Continue reading 6th time’s the charm!
Some of us were lucky enough to see a penguin the other day! Alex, Brent, McBride and I were in the van heading back to McMurdo, and saw the penguin between LDB and Willy Field. He was pretty far away, so my pictures aren’t that great. Alan, Martin and Abby were on a later van and were able to get much closer! Continue reading Penguin Sighting
We’re waiting for our next launch opportunity. It’s a little unclear when that will be, as there are currently two balloons ready to launch: us and ANITA. ANITA rolled out today, but the launch attempt got cancelled because the weather wasn’t quite good enough. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of days. Continue reading Fun in McMurdo
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! Continue reading First Launch Attempt