Successful Communications Tests

BLAST-TNG goes outside for communications tests – which were successful! Our team has been very busy over the past several weeks. We’ve cooled our 850 lbs. cryogenic polarimeter (red object in photo), mounted it back onto the telescope, and carried out numerous systems tests. We are nearly flight ready, and the one experiment ahead of us in the line-up – called superTIGER – was successfully launched yesterday. Fingers crossed for good launch conditions!

First View of Antarctica in Almost a Year

First BLAST-TNG collaborators arrive in Antarctica to take the experiment out of storage and prepare it for a December launch!  This photo, taken from the C-17, shows our team’s first view of Antarctica in almost a year.  Its been a long wait following last year’s bad weather and four scrubbed launch attempts, and we are all eager to get out to the Long Duration Ballooning site and get to work.

Antarctica, here we come!

Ian and Nate were the first of the BLAST team to arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand! The first order of business is a trip to the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) clothing distribution center to get all the extreme cold weather (ECW) gear needed for living and working in Antarctica!


Team Photo

Yesterday was the busiest day here at CSBF for the BLAST team, so we decided to take a group photo of almost all the team. Not only the team was almost completed but also BLAST starts to be almost all mounted, we added the scoop and the readout system on the gondola. It was another great day for the team and we are making significant progress here.



The mirrors are on!!

After several days that Nate and I discussed about writing a blog and publishing more photos of our life in the high bay at CSBF, I finally found 10 minutes to do so. After 2 weeks we did a lot of progress, and I think that there is no better way to start our blog that publishing a time lapse of a critical day like today. We transfer liquid helium, so now Layla is cooling down to 4K, we installed the mirrors and for the first time we rotate them. It is a great achievement and everything went fine.

In the future, I will publish more photos than the one that you see on Instagram.