We’re aiming for a launch around 7AM – 8AM this morning. I’ll try to update here periodically!
12:00 AM: We all met at McMurdo to head out to LDB (except for McBride, who has spent the past two nights on the cot at LDB for some reason). We were supposed to sleep all afternoon, but I’m not sure how well any of us did…thankfully, everyone seems pretty awake thanks to a combination of adrenaline and coffee!
2:30 AM: We’ve rolled out! The gondola is now hanging from the launch vehicle, and we’re doing our telemetry checks.
3:30 AM: ANITA planned to send up a little balloon, called HICAL, to help calibrate their instrument. Because the balloon and instrument are small, they can launch it without the Boss. We went out to see them launch, but unfortunately there was a mishap with the balloon: it leaked! Right after getting launched, it fell back down. The CSBF guys had to wrestle it to the ground.
Hopefully their calibration instrument is okay! They have a backup balloon, so they’ll be able to try again.
Meanwhile, we’re still testing telemetry. Chris is testing out the parachute and balloon terminate commands.
There’s a live stream here: http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/antarctica/ice.htm. Click on Operations Video to see it. That being said, it’s probably not that interesting until the actual launch…
5:30 AM: We are on the flight line! The Boss is on the launch pad, and the balloon is heading there now.
5:45 AM: Apparently the winds are currently a little too high for the super pressure balloon. We’re proceeding for now, but it sounds like the winds will have to come down for this launch to happen.
7:45 PM: The launch is on! CSBF is laying out the balloon. Inflation is starting imminently!
Carolyn and I headed over to check out the balloon. It was really cool to see it get unpacked and laid out.
8:50 AM: And it got too windy. Something went wrong with the tow balloon and they had to let it go. I’m not really sure what the plan is going forward.
11:40 AM: After a nap and some time to process, here’s a final update for today. CSBF put the balloon back in the box, and we will use the super pressure balloon for our next launch attempt. The weather probably isn’t good enough for a launch attempt tomorrow. I’m not sure when the next attempt will be.