All posts by ckierans

First Launch Attempt Tomorrow!

COSI will be rolling out tomorrow for our first launch attempt! The weather forecast looks marginal, but we wouldn’t want to miss a good day so we’ll be ready if it decides to improve. The science team will be showing up at 11:30pm to be ready for a gondola pick up at 1am. If the weather improves throughout the early morning hours then we’ll make it out to the flight line to start inflation around 7am for a launch around 8am.

We’ll keep you posted though Facebook and Twitter.

COSI is Flight Ready!

COSI had it’s compatibility test with CSBF last Wednesday. We had to wait for the excitement surrounding Warbirds to settle down and we needed a full day of good weather. The science team arrived at 5am to go through all of our checks to be ready for the gondola pick up by the launch vehicle at 8am. After hours of testing outside and only a few minor glitches we were happy to declare success by that evening. Continue reading COSI is Flight Ready!

Warbirds of Wanaka and COSI Calibrations

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The New Zealand Air Force parked on the apron directly outside the doors of our hangar.

The tiny Wanaka Airport has been buzzing recently. Over the Easter long weekend they hosted the Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow, which, from the view of our hangar right on the airport apron, was awesome. There were so many amazing planes and skillful pilots, and for many of us, it was our first airshow. We had the hangar doors open to the sunshine and excitement all weekend long and even though we were working most of the time, it was a lot of fun. Continue reading Warbirds of Wanaka and COSI Calibrations

COSI’14 Recovery (long overdue)

Balloon payloads are effectively reusable. You launch your instrument once, after the flight is terminated it lands with the assistance of a parachute, you go out and pick it up, take it back to the lab for repairs/upgrades, and then you’re able to launch it again often within a year or two. So, with such a short flight and a close landing it would be pretty likely that we could recover the entire COSI instrument in the remainder of the Antarctic summer season. Continue reading COSI’14 Recovery (long overdue)