Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 63, December 26, 2012 -- BLAST off!

BLAST successfully launched this morning around 8AM local time. The winds ended up being quite calm (probably calm enough for EBEX to launch, honestly), and the launch vehicle had to do minimal driving around to stay under the balloon before releasing BLAST. After about 5 hours they were at 130,000 feet and things seem to be working well for them.

I came in early to watch (and record) the BLAST launch, and the rest of the EBEX team showed up a little after 8 (having just missed the launch). EBEX's day was dedicated to more testing -- first a bit of noise testing and then full system tests with scanning in the high bay.

 Besides the usual pictures, I also have a fun little animated GIF from near the beginning of balloon inflation:

http://i.imgur.com/UtfW5.gif

as well as the BLAST launch video I took and then immediately posted to YouTube (with the BLAST team's blessing, of course!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es95ac0qVJE

And, of course, the usual pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/104253244018605213307/EBEXInAntarctica20121226

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