Thursday, September 9, 2010

The First Launch!!

I'm really pleased to report that the first Concordiasi balloon was launched yesterday morning (9 September) around 9 am. We woke up to a cold (about -35 oC) but completely calm morning and the French launch team took full advantage of the conditions. The gondola and the instruments are functioning perfectly (I'll talk more about those and post some other pictures in a day or so). The balloon is moving at about 25 mph at an altitude of about 16.5 km (a little over 10 mi).

We are hoping for a second launch tomorrow morning; this will carry one of the University of Colorado instruments, so I am particularly eager to see it go.

The launch site - the bubble of the balloon is visible in the center.

Release!! Notice the shower of blue - that is a soft plastic collar that holds the
balloon in place on the launcher. The little yellow blimp on the right
is used to gauge the wind direction

Climbing. The guys to the right of the balloon are still holding the payload,
waiting for the launch train (the stuff that connects the balloon and payload)
to straighten out.

The balloon rising into the sky. Beneath it are a parachute, a control module and
the gondola with the scientific instruments.

1 comment:

  1. These are such great pictures. I really love reading about your life in the great white South.