Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 20, 4/14/09 -- Cold at last, cold at last...

Another gorgeous but windy day here in New Mexico, it was sunny with a high of nearly 80 degrees. Britt also returned last night from her short trip home to New York -- we actually saw her driving to the high bay when we left last night, and she ended up staying VERY late helping the rest of the gondola/ACS crew fix some problems. Welcome back, Britt!

This morning when we came in, we found that everything in the cryostat had reached about 4K, meaning we could run our sub-Kelvin refrigeration system and actually get working detectors. We also have our weekly telecon on Tuesdays, so we gave the rest of the group an update on activities here in Fort Sumner. Some subset of us also attended a gondola-specific telecon a half-hour after the aptly-named 'general' telecon ended.

We received some parts and materials for extra gondola structure we're adding to make working with the gondola easier as well as help protect some of the more-important components (mirrors, mostly) on landing. Jeff machined some parts for this today and we'll continue to work on it tomorrow as well. We also noticed that some of the parts were ridiculously overbuilt and we came up with a design for light-weighting those parts.

A couple of times today the FIREBall team wanted the lights out so they could do tests with their star-tracking camera. This isn't too much of a problem for us, and it made for some decent pictures. Here I am holding still while working at my computer so Michele could get his 1-second exposure without it being totally blurry.

The detector team is going to have a late night in the high bay now that they have cold detectors. Suckers.


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