New Launch Date for Cubes in Space
RB-3/RB-4 Launch Attempt on Friday, September 7th!
by Amber Agee-DeHart - Thursday, 6 September 2018, 2:56 PM
We have our best launch window conditions tomorrow and Saturday (Sept 7th and 8th) on NASA's SIFT mission launching from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Ft. Sumner, NM (if you did not know by now :-) . We will be flying on a 29 million cubic foot (MCF) balloon with a minimum time at float of 4 hours of daylight and 4 hours of night. Roll-out will be around 3:30 AM MDT which is 5:30 AM EDT (9:30 UTC +6) and launch will be at approximately 7 AM MDT. All this means that the balloon will be in the air for at least 13-14 hours with at least 8 of those hours in near-space conditions.
There will be isolated showers in the region in the morning, but the CSBF meteorologist thinks they will stay to the south. The winds are favorable and will be light from the east. With the total flight time and light winds, the balloon will land somewhere in Arizona possibly close to the Mexico border. That's a 2-day drive out to the landing location to retrieve the balloon and payloads.
If we do not launch tomorrow, Saturday looks even better as far as launch conditions! So we have 2 days with a high likelihood of launch. But remember with balloon launches, they are never a guarantee.
Here is a link that will provide different camera streams to view operations in the hangar, on the tarmac, and in the air! https://towerfts.csbf.nasa.gov/flightvideo.htm
One risk to powered experiments - the CSBF ground crew may not have time to turn on your experiments. There are no NASA Langley Research Center engineers out there to support our payload. So you may be flying passively on Friday. There MAY be someone arriving late tomorrow night. If we launch on Saturday, the experiments MAY be able to be activated. And unfortunately no amount of begging, pleading or cajoling will make the situation different. So I politely ask that you do not besiege me with emails, texts and other instant messages. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Let's hope we have "smooth sailing" tomorrow!