Step by Step

Another successful day!  Jim and I started by heading off to the hardware store to get some white spray paint.  Some of the gondola bars had been repaired after the last flight, and they needed to be painted to keep them cool in flight–the direct sun can make things very hot when there’s no atmosphere to block it!  The first hardware store we went to was selling enamel spray paint for $19 a can (!!!).  (Brush paint was $35 per liter–that’s $133 a gallon!)  We drove around a bit before we located a Mitre 10 with much more reasonable prices.

Spray painting the ultimate model rocket.

Jim spent the rest of the morning touching up the gondola while we did some more unpacking and setting up in the hangar.  We also cleared our empty crates out of the hangar, giving us much more space.  After lunch, we pulled out the heavy BGO shields which reduce the background reaching the instrument.  That’s always a delicate operation, but it was a prerequisite for our next step: integrating the cryostat into the cradle.  Since the cryostat had reached Australia by air and the cradle it sits in by sea, we had to carefully hoist the cryostat into position.  It was a team effort, but the instrument is in place.  Tomorrow we’ll work on attaching the signal cables.

Those shields are heavy!

Working under the hood.

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