donderdag 13 oktober 2016

BX23 flight day

[Photo credits of the aurora before the BX23 flight: Michael Becker]

The day BX 23 took off, we had a count down starting at 3:30 AM.
All teams gathered at the dome (massive construction where gondolas are assembled) to finalize preparations and run the usual last tests before launch.
Things are tense until the very last minute, and the four hours countdown can easily last five hours and a half.
But nobody would ever complain: we are there, and our sweat and tears of the last year are about to fly!
Less than one hour before the final lift-off, the late access team comes back, after removing the covers from our solar panels. This is the last we could see OSCAR up close before the launch.
The last full three quarters of hour, the whole bunch of the BEXUS campaign participants stayed at the entrance of the dome, super excited while they witnessed a perfectly nominal balloon inflation and lift-off.
After nearly five hours, the cut-off sequence was initiated. We managed to gather a huge amount of good data until our battery dried out, shortly before the descending.
Less than 24 hours later, we could meet our experiments again, when the recovery team brought our gondola back. You can imagine our surprise when we saw that OSCAR's frames withstood the fall (through some tree branches, even!).
More info and many more photos will follow!
For now: Thank you!
ThanX to all those who supported and helped us during this intense year of preparation! It was worth every minute of work!

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