HASP  Team Prepares for Launch

LAUNCHED! FRIDAY, 9/11/09 at 8:45am (MDT).  (See below for more information)

The BOWSER team is in Ft. Sumner, NM this week in preparation for the launch of the 2009 HASP launch onboard a NASA high altitude, long duration balloon.  If you are curious, information from the flight can be found at: http://laspace.lsu.edu/hasp/Flightinfo.html

Video from the flight will be provided by Cosmo Cam, and can be found here: http://laspace.lsu.edu/hasp/video/cosmocam.html


9/11/09: The HASP team drove down to Ft. Sumner last night and were at the hanger at 4:00 this morning to watch the launch proceedings.

HASP Team Picture

4:15am: The final touches were added- stickers!

The freshly stickered payload

6:00am: The payload rolled out to the pad with no issues so far:

Payload hanging from Big Bill

7:45am: The flight string is laid out and the platform is at the launch site.  They are starting to roll out the balloon, and there is very little surface wind, so it looks like we should be for launch in less than an hour... but they haven't rolled out the balloon yet, so stay tuned....

8:15am: They are delaying launch by a little bit to give us a slightly later flight in order to get more data after dark.  They should start inflation in about 25 minutes.

8:35: Inflation:

8:45am: Launch!

9:00: all the data looks good.  The BOWSER payload is operational and on its way to 120,000 feet!

10:40: Closed the sunshade to prevent damage to the CCD

11:30am: Opened the sunshade back up.  There was a slight scare due to some latency in the payload's response, but the sunshade opened successfully after about 5 minutes and all is well...

11:05pm: Landed on the far side of Phoenix, AZ

Recovered the next day in Arizona:

HASP Platform Recovery

Integration/ Pre-Launch Operations Log:

HASP Team Members Kevin, Nick, and Andrew with a finished payload

8/31/09: The team successfully integrated into the HASP platform on Monday, having successfully tested all of the software and sensors through the HASP communication interface.

Integrating BOWSER onto the HASP platform

9/2/09: At the requirements meeting this morning, it was decided that the hang test will be Friday morning, with the MRR Friday afternoon in preparation for the launch at 7:30 am on Saturday morning.  Based on high float wind speeds (~27 knots), the flight may be slightly shorter than planned (~16 hours).  We are waiting on the official weather forecast for the launch, however, so we'll keep you up to date as we find out more.

9/3/09: The launch has been delayed until Monday, 9/7/09, at 7:30am based on the late arrival of a couple teams.  The hang test and MRR will be on Sunday, 9/6/09.  We are still awaiting the official meteorological report for the flight.

A great deal of the time this week has been spent waiting in the hanger...

9/4/09: We are awaiting one late-arriving team; otherwise the platform is ready for the hang test.  The team we're waiting on is scheduled to arrive on Saturday.  While we wait,Nick, Kevin, and Andrew work on their homework and labs in the hanger.

9/6/09: 9am: The platform is preparing for the hang test, which is scheduled to happen at 10am MST.  The Flight Readiness Review is scheduled for later this afternoon.  We still have no official word on when launch will be or what the weather forecast is.

Preparing for the Hang Test - BOWSER on the HASP platform hanging from Big Bill

4pm: The launch will NOT be tomorrow due to the predicted surface winds being too high for the balloon to safely inflate.  Because the flight was delayed,the FRR was moved to tomorrow morning at 10am, followed by another weather update tomorrow at 2pm.  In good news, the BOWSER payload did very well during the hang test this afternoon, and the platform as a whole is ready for launch, as soon as the weather cooperates.

9/7/09:   The launch has been delayed to mostly likely no earlier than Thursday morning (and quite probably not until at least Friday), due to high predicted winds at the float altitude, leading to a very short mission time which does not allow for any "night time" (our mission requires at least 1.5 hours after astronomical twilight, aka, at least 1.5 hours after the sun has completely set at 120,000ft, and the current prediction has us achieving less than 1.1 hours of flight after twilight with an 11-12 hour total flight time).  At this point, the CU team is heading back to Boulder to attend classes while we wait for the weather to improve.

9/8/09: The weather briefing from today has ruled out a launch for tomorrow based on insufficient flight time (and 0.1 hours after astronomical twilight).  The forcast for Thursday still looks to be similar, so at this point it is likely that the earliest the flight can be is Friday, 9/10/09.  The weather briefing can be found here: http://laspace.lsu.edu/hasp/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=46&sid=948452c36b2b96c59097bfc360e3af98\

9/9/09: The weather for tomorrow still looks bad, but the weather Friday looks promising, so the team is heading back down to New Mexico tomorrow afternoon.

9/10/09: "HASP will make its first launch attempt tomorrow Friday September 11 at 8:30 am (MDT). The late launch time is dictated by the need to provide the Colorado student experiment with 1 ½ hours of night and the speed of the high altitude winds.  It is expected that the surface winds will pick up by 9:00 am MDT, so this is a very narrow launch window.  Details are provided on the HASP Forum.

Students wishing to participate in HASP launch and flight operations should arrive at the balloon base in Ft. Sumner no later that 04:15 am on Friday September 11.  An estimated schedule of pre-launch events is provided on the HASP Forum." -Greg Guzik, PhD email on 9/10/09