Friday, June 4, 2010

Working around the clock…

Because of the jetlag the day of June 2nd started pretty early. The day at the base started with a progress meeting and planning of the test flight route. The route shown below will allow us to calibrate the cameras by imaging Venus, which will have approximately the same brightness as Hayabusa will have.

After the meeting we entered the airplane, which had been flown at night for weight balancing tests, to prepare for the ground based calibration that would take place later that day. The calibration started at twilight, which does provide nice views.

Things did not really go as planned, a failing computer, misaligned cameras, etc. Peter Jenniskens did find some time to help us out, which was welcome because we decided to install a new grating in the 400mm lens (the largest one we have). Such a grating allows us to do spectroscopy of the re-entry. Working till 4:00 in the morning left us with a working computer but still failing recording software.
Bart adjusting ball mount Peter Jenniskens installing grating
Because the airplane needs to be tested on June 3rd, we face quite a challenge at getting things up and running in time. The good thing about working till late is dat we automatically adjust towards Australian time, where we will head next week.