Great Progress

Today was a red-letter day, as we say back home.  Yvette finished the card cage harnessing a full day ahead of schedule, and the harnessing has neatened up the electronics bay considerably.  We were able to get the flight computer back in and connect up all the systems (now including the shields) before we left, and we were all very excited to see the full system up and running again.  The heat sinking we did to the Low Voltage Power Supply boards over the weekend seems to have helped–they are now radiating heat out the top panel of the card cages, as we wanted.

The ebay before harnessing--kind of a mess!

The ebay before harnessing--kind of a mess!

Harnessed card cage cables.

Harnessed card cage cables--they've been carefully routed, then wrapped in a tape and a protective mesh.

Great excitement at having the system together--it feels like a major milestone.

Great excitement at having the system together--it feels like a major milestone.

Things are going to start moving pretty quickly here, most likely.  We can now start calibrating our efficiency with our radioactive sources.  Once we get a final clearance on our weight issue, we can put the solar panels on and test those.  We have to confirm that our interfaces with the CSBF command links work correctly.  Hopefully soon we can do a “hang test” monitored by CSBF, which is the last step before we declare flight readiness.

The CSBF chief dropped by today and gave us a projection.  There’s a new experiment next door, CREST (the Cosmic Ray Electron Synchrotron Telescope), which drove in a few days ago but is already ready to fly!  They don’t need a long flight, though, so they don’t have to wait for “turnaround”–the period when the upper atmosphere winds are still.  They could fly as early as next week.  Fireball looks to be ready next, and we’re pushing hard to be after them in the queue.

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