Update on initial flight of BLAST-TNG

At 6:10 PM local time on January 6 of this year, BLAST-TNG began its first flight. Most of our systems worked flawlessly and we carried out the first-ever observations using microwave kinetic inductance detectors (MKIDs) from a NASA sub-orbital platform. However, a mechanical failure occurred 14 hours into the flight, preventing us from pointing the telescope and severely curtailing our observing program. We then brought the experiment down, landing on the Antarctic plateau a few hundred km away. The recovery operation is underway, and most components of the experiment have been brought back to McMurdo Station. Some critical parts are still at the landing site awaiting recovery, hopefully any day now. Despite our disappointment at not achieving our goals for the flight, our team is eager to analyze the data we did collect and begin rebuilding for future flights!

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