Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 56, 5/20/09 -- Rain, rain, go away

Today, after the morning's tests were finished, Britt spent a lot of time routing and tying up cables on the gondola. This is, quite frankly, an annoying, frustrating, and often thankless task, but Britt took it on anyway.

The weather for a launch in the next few days looks pretty iffy. It's not so much the conditions in Fort Sumner, which are reasonable, but the thunderstorms to the west of us that would bring down the balloon altitude significantly. It's unlikely that a flight over these conditions would meet either our or FIREBall's flight requirements. There's a possible launch opportunity on Friday morning, and again possibly on Sunday.

Jeff and I cut a hole in the baffling to allow access to the cryostat so we can fill without removing the whole rear baffle. Even so, filling the cryostat's LN2 tank now easily takes twice as long as it did without the baffle, and probably 5 times as long as when the cryostat was on its cart. Still, it beats having to remove the baffle.

The gondola is going out again tonight for pointing and scanning tests, but there's no strong need for myself or Jeff to be there so we left early. The detector crew is planning on doing some noise tests during the latter part of tonight's outdoor adventure.

No pictures today.

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