Friday, November 23, 2012

November 23, 2012

Friday marked the return of our old friend Ivan the Terra Bus, which had been in for maintenance most of the week. When we arrived at our payload building, we met members of the BLAST team who had been up most of the night working on a test they were doing out on the deck. Apparently things went well, but I'm glad that (so far) our work down here hasn't kept me up for 30+ hours. Taking advantage of the fact that BLAST was out of the way, we also took a group photo with the instrument first thing in the morning.

Dana, Frank, and Sean got to work "buttoning up" the instrument, sealing up the insulation so that everything will be ready for the pre-Hang Test on Monday. Drew installed the High Gain Antenna (HGA), which will be our primary way of communicating with the instrument during most of the flight. I worked with JohnE and Makoto on another round of calibration for the voltages of our Photomultiplier Tubes that we'll try out on Saturday. I also got to work on editing our quick-look software so that it will read out the GPS and pressure gauge data from the NASA SIP underneath the instrument. Thomas and Bob went over to a planning meeting for instrument recovery and presented our preliminary plans.

Eventually, it was time to head back to McMurdo for dinner (really good steak. It's a harsh continent.) and "Black Friday" shopping at the store. The store also has a few shelves of DVDs that you can check out for a few days for free, so a few of us got some things to watch in the next couple of days. JohnE, Richard, Sean, and I also went to Gallagher's, where there was live Bluegrass and then 80s music performed by local bands. Since most of McMurdo is off on Saturday, it ended up getting really packed.

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