NASA ATom arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile, on the Straights of Magellan at 3am on Saturday. The 8h time difference from New Zealand, and losing a day on the ground due to our delayed departure from Christchurch rather threw most of us. I slept a few hours on arrival, then used Saturday morning to process … More A day of extremes: from the furthest south from the most remote
The ATom mission has now flown from California to the equator and back, to Alaska, to Hawaii, to Fiji, to New Zealand on this second deployment. I met it in Christchurch, New Zealand to swap out with my colleague Aga, who flew this first half. We had a few days on the ground for … More False Starts and Icebergs
So the second deployment of NASA’s Atmospheric Tomography Mission is underway. My colleague, Agnieszka, is flying the first half, down the Pacific, and I’m to meet the plane and take over in Christchurch, New Zealand. Rather than head home to Boulder for the 3 days, and then back to LA (where the mission departs from … More A Brief Pause in New Zealand
Our second test flight was a 7 hour excursion south over the pacific. It’s good to do longer test flights as some potential instrument issues could only show u after a longer time in flight. We set off at 9am, which mean pre-flight from 6am, relatively civilized as out pre-flights tend to go. It was … More And the Science Begins!
We came back to Armstrong this week knowing we had a fair bit to accomplish, but feeling that on the whole things were going well and we had a plan to fix what we needed to. 7am on Sunday we re-installed a replacement drier for the one that had broken and caused us so much … More Sometimes, things have to get worse before they get better
Just before the winter break, Chuck, our advisor, and Frank, our engineer, came down to NASA Armstrong and physically installed our instrument rack on the DC8 ready for the second deployment of the ATom mission. Then first thing in January Agnieszka, my colleague, and I came down to test everything out and do the first … More Here we go again – getting ready for ATom 2!
Last summer, during the research flights for the ATom Mission, I caught a cold, which, combined with a 9 hour flight of constant ascents and descents, caused by ears to be unable to equalize. This was not only painful, but quite dangerous, as there was a risk of my ear drums bursting. I ended up grounded … More The things we do for science