Friday, January 3, 2014

From the ice: BARREL Status Update #15

  The Halley team launched Payload 2J at 0953 UT today. Unfortunately, we had to terminate shortly after the launch. The ascent rate looked normal initially, but then started to decrease and the balloon was starting to descend on its own. This indicates that there was a hole or tear in the top part of the balloon. The terminate command was sent at 1019 UT. The payload landed at 1023 UT about 8.5 km from the station. We have been in contact with the payload since it landed and it appears to be stationary. There is a good chance we'll be able to go recover it tomorrow when the station mountaineer returns to base, so he can make sure the area is safe.

Payload 2I continues to see a lot of x-ray activity.  Geomagnetic activity is winding down somewhat but there are still some active regions on the sun that could produce a large flare.

The SANAE team has a possible launch opportunity tomorrow. Payload 2X is ready to go and they have been bench-testing Payload 2Y today. At Halley, we completed the system test of Payload 2K so it is now flight-ready as well. We expect a launch opportunity at Halley on Sunday or Monday.