Check up, tighten up, button up–things are looking up. Today we worked on a number of “odds and ends” projects needing completion before flight: verifying the shield thresholds, repairing the small thermometers that help us monitor our temperature in flight, and planning our detailed observation schedule for flight. Launch weather is still bad; TIGRE is taking cat naps in the meantime.
The rest of us are trying to figure out when Alice Springs turned into Bug City. The flies we were familiar with, but they stay mainly outside. In the past weeks, we’ve seen a remarkable profusion of grasshoppers in a wide variety of sizes and colors–yellow and black, green, orange… This week it turned a bit more creepy. I’ve seen no fewer than three fist-sized (!!!) spiders in and around the hangar. The first Jane thought was an April Fool’s joke from another group–until it started moving! For your sake and mine I’m not posting the pictures. Today–perhaps due to the rain–we were suddenly overtaken by some nasty hybrid of grasshopper, cricket, and roach. Every box with a quarter inch of space under it in the high bay had a solid swarm of them underneath. Given how clean things were when we moved in, it’s been quite the shock! We swept as many outside as we could. Still, I finished the day working on my computer as the bugs jumped over and around me. The subtle crawly noises as they crept up the walls was particularly insidious.
Much more of this and I’ll end up in the bughouse myself.