Friday, December 7, 2012

FINAL Preparations and Time Lapses: November 8, 2012

Saturday morning, Richard ran through his pre-flight checklist in record time and made sure everything was still functioning as it was the day before. The usual 11am weather briefing got postponed until after lunch (Lobster Tail and Steak. It's a harsh continent.), but it was the same plan as the last two days: leave McMurdo at 2am, with an eye towards launching around 10am. Just like the past two days, there was a second meeting at the end of the day to either confirm these plans or call them off.

Unlike the last two days, this second meeting ended in a confirmation of our plans to "Show" in the morning. Two Deltas will leave McMurdo at 2am local time (7am Saturday in St. Louis, 8am on the East Coast) and head out to Willy Field. BLAST will then get moved out to the "dance floor" for more testing and we'll proceed with launch operations.

I'm posting this early so that I can get some sleep, but launch operations should be viewable via webcam, and, eventually, streaming video at:

We will also be updating our Facebook ( and Twitter (@supertigerldb) feeds throughout the proceedings.

I took a time-lapse of the view out the window of Ivan the Terra Bus Saturday morning on the way out to LDB:

This video starts out in front of Building 155, home to the McMurdo cafeteria. Then we drive out of town, first past the Hospital and Fire Station, and then past a variety of other buildings. We then drive over the hill to Scott Base, stop briefly by the transition on to the ice shelf, and proceed out to LDB.

I also took a time lapse outside this afternoon, mostly in an attempt to make sure I could keep my camera warm with a hand warmer and a mitten and it would take video and not freeze. This will hopefully be useful on launch day. 

In this video you can see clouds moving over Mount Erebus and EBEX doing some calibration tests on the deck to their payload building. The cherry picker crane is part of the EBEX test. 

Hopefully things will work out tomorrow. Now, it's time to get some sleep while I can.

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