Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 62, 5/26/09 -- Things are looking up

After yesterday's horrible day, today was much better. Britt and Michele finished the last of the mechanical work on the gondola in the morning. Jeff, Milligan, and I rolled in around 10. Jeff and I filled cryogens, then Will and the ACS team did a few scan tests.

At today's weather briefing, we got more bad news: The same monsoon-like weather pattern that's been sitting over western NM and eastern AZ shows very little sign of dissipating, so the projected flights for the next few days look pretty crappy. For us, we would droop down to 72,000 feet at night, at which point everything gets much colder and there's a strong possibility that we wouldn't be able to point the telescope due to the strong winds. So...we wait.

Weather aside, the experiment is mostly ready now. There are some software crashes that are being investigated but don't necessarily kill us, and an ACS card stopped reading out its analog channels so it needs to be replaced with its spare, but otherwise...we're ready.

We also got a new lift delivered to replace the one that broke. The new one is a JLG E400AJP -- and it goes a full 10 feet higher than the one we had. It's pretty sweet. It is a foot and a half wider than the old one, but that should still be ok.

The team took an early night off tonight. There were plans to go to Clovis, but I think due to the thunderstorms in the area it didn't happen. Tomorrow: another flight sim.


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