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Notes from the Field

And They’re Off Like a Shot

September 20th, 2019 by Andy Hynous

Prelaunch activities. Photo by Joe Mitchell.

First off, I want to thank Lina Tran, Joy Ng, and Chelsey Ballarte for putting together the last post here at the “Balloons for Science” blog. And it just goes to show how much better it is when you don’t let the engineer do the writing. But, with that said, the engineer is back at the keyboard, so good luck!

Anywho, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve had a chance to put out some more information so I wanted to give an update from the field. Just recently, Joe Mitchell, my very good colleague and mission manager extraordinaire has successfully launched three additional flights from Ft. Sumner. That’s a really great thing for our scientists. Our latest payloads that we flew were the 11 MCF Piggy-back flight, the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP), and the BITSE. You might remember me talking about BITSE a couple of posts ago in “Nothing but Blue Skies Are All That I See.” All three flights flew nominally, which to us engineers means it flew just as expected. Then another good colleague of mine, Alan Haggard, the Balloon Program’s most experienced mission manager, just launched another balloon today. This time it was an engineering demonstration flight, Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Test Flight, for a bunch of new instrumentation that’ll be used on our next Super Pressure Balloon flight!

Piggyback launch. Video by Andy Hynous.

So that brings us up to five launches from Ft. Sumner this year and we still have a couple to go. I’m also going to be covering a few more topics this campaign and bringing you updates from the field. Today, I want to leave you with this from one of my favorite authors:

“I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man wants to see something new.”

― Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days

Every time we fly a balloon, we’re seeing something brand new.  Thanks again and check back real soon.

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