Thursday, January 10, 2013

One More Time Around, Milestones, and Another Penguin!: January 10, 2013

Before I woke up on Thursday morning, Super-TIGER officially passed the 2001-2 TIGER flight for 4th longest science flight from a NASA long-duration balloon. After 32 days, we're almost entirely around the continent a second time:

The big news today was that we officially got approval for a third trip around the continent. This will mean several more days of data, and a chance at the NASA LDB duration record (just under 42 days, held by the CREAM experiment). This also means that our monitoring routine in McMurdo will continue basically the same as it has been the last month.

Once we passed 32 days, we also passed another fun milestone:

Wednesday night before our shift ended we got word that EBEX had run out of cryogens, meaning that their observations have had to stop. With BLAST and EBEX both without cryogens to cool down their detectors, we're the only payload that's still taking science data. BLAST is almost in a position to be cut down, which could happen very soon.

Thursday afternoon when I walked out to Hut Point there was one Adelie penguin hanging out on a piece of ice. The sea ice around Hut Point is really starting to break up. This penguin was lying around for a while, but eventually got up and started waddling around, looking around for something. I could hear him/her squawking for a little bit, but then it gave up and lay back down.

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