We launch on the 27th !!!

Good day rocket enthusiasts*,

A new version of the launch campaign plan has been announced yesterday and our rocket, REXUS 15, has the earliest hot countdown opportunity on Tuesday the 27th. It all depends mainly on the weather and payload readiness but chances are pretty high things will go as planned! A communication test between our rocket module and the service module is planned for today, with a bench test following up tomorrow. 

We are now in our second day at the ESRANGE Space Center getting our experiment ready for flight! In the morning there are quick meeting briefs with all the teams present and Alex Kinnaird who takes us through the day’s plan. Yesterday we also attended a presentation about the safety regulations of the compound where DOs and DON’Ts where discussed. Unfortunately, riding the rocket in a cowboyish fashion is not allowed during the hot countdown.

The daily working program is from 08:00 to 18:00 and the people here are really strict about it because after dinner there are things like sauna, nature and various games to enjoy. Yesterday for example we took a short trip up to “Radar Hill”, a very good spot to get a feel of the surroundings and appreciate the beauty that is Norrland. Here’s what we saw:

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” In the background you can see the balloon launch area and the rocket launch area. The blurred bits are not image artifacts only ‘randomly’ scattered satellite dishes of which we are not allowed to take picture of 🙂 “

Monday we had the chance to do some sightseeing on our way up here. We checked out Sweden’s most beautiful public building (voted by the Swedish people in 2001) simply called Kiruna Church and the already melting Icehotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi:

 

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(I formally apologize to Audrey for not having the time to photoshop her into the pictures but I promise we’ll take more when she arrives next week.)

It’s almost time for lunch, all the screws in the module are tightly secured with loctite and the electronics guys fixed a frustrating and annoying problem we had with the RMU board since yesterday. We are in good spirits; so here are some more pictures of the team members attending the campaign: 

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“Here’s Ruslan trying to slow down the inevitable collapse of the Icehotel. “

 

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“Jorge taking advantage of a hibernating bear.”

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“A selfie of myself.”

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“And Georg ‘leading’.”

We will post a live feed of the launch as soon as one will be set. Stay tuned!

Good day!*

 

* Appropriate greeting since we have 21 hours and 29 minutes of daylight and a soft twilight transition between days up here