Daily Archives: April 20, 2010

Out to Launch (#1)

Today’s our first launch attempt in Alice Springs!  You can follow along on the webcam here or here.

2:15 am:  My, it’s early!  The gondola is all buttoned up and ready to roll out.  CSBF just put our rotor on the crane, and the electronics crew is doing final checks of the SIP.

Getting set up on the crane.

3:15 am:  We’re on the crane and all buttoned up.  CSBF is finishing final checks of the communications links.

Ready to go.

3:45 am:  The crane is rolling out to the flight line, and we’re following it out!

NCT on the flight line.

5:30 am:  Flight line checks complete, back to the hangar to warm up.  A couple of hiccups there slowed us down, but we’re comfortable with how things sit at the moment.  Word is the winds are looking kind of marginal for launch, so we’ll see.

6:25 am:  Launch scrubbed–low level winds were too high.  We’ll have another weather briefing this afternoon, seems likely we’ll show tomorrow again.

Someone went ballooning--it just wasn't us.

3:30 pm:  No show tomorrow.  The winds at float are too high–50 knots!–to give us even 24 hours at float at extremely poor (i.e., low) altitudes.  That short of a flight would keep us from getting even one full observation of the source we came down to observe, the Galactic Center.  Also, the surface winds tomorrow morning look pretty tough for launching.

The forecast for the next couple of days is similar, so we’ll see how it develops.  We may have a day that gets above our minimums.  The good news is after Sunday the float winds should slow a bit and potentially allow for a longer flight.