Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Norway blog: part 3

Thursday was the big day for the launch. The usual conference room doubled in size with the extra people attending the morning meetings, both ARR staff, and local politicians and press. Soon we were off to our respective stations, to prepare for the launch.

The telemetry group was split further into two groups. One group was in the main telemetry station supporting the professional ARR staff (they don't want to leave this important task up to the students), and another group was in the student telemetry station. I was in the student station, which is basically a simpler version of the main station. I controlled the antenna, making sure that it followed the rocket through it's flight to pick up the signal transmitted by the rocket.

The launch came up quickly, and I was able to track the rocket through most of its flight until just before splashdown.

Now was my opportunity to try and see how fast I could climb up to the col. I forgot to time myself, but I think it took me about 10mins to gain the 250m or so straight up to the top. I don't think that I was the fastest, and I went out way too hard and had to suffer to get to the top. I ran down the other side, and jogged back to the base for a total time of 30mins. I am writing this on Sunday, and my legs are still sore!

After my climb, the rocket group launched a weather balloon to measure the wind profiles, but unfortunately the sensor box fell off just after the balloon was released.

After the post flight meeting, we had an interesting lecture on Near Earth Objects before beginning the preparation for the presentations on Friday. We finished our report just before the farewell party.

The farewell party was fun. I had gone into town after supper to get some Ringnes beer, and the ARR had some Tuborg for us as well.

ah let's see what went down:
-trying to solve integrals
-playing some weird cardgames, and cardtricks
-drunk frigid ocean swimming
-watching the Ariane launch, relating it to our own experience earlier in the day
-trying to sing Norwegian songs
-exchanging culture via-youtube, including gettin' 'er goin' on the Mitchell
-hiding from the night watchman
-chilling in the basement

Friday morning, I made sure that I was ready to rock, no matter how many wobbly pops I consumed the night before. The trip to ALOMAR was cancelled again, so we had time to polish our presentation. The LIDAR at ALOMAR was not operational at the time, but it would have been cool to go up the mountain. The presentation went off without a hitch, but we were experiencing our last moments with the Norwegian groups. First the Tromsø group left, then the Oslo group. After the Norwegians left, we fired off some more model rockets. We then headed into Andenes with one of the grad students, and ate at this restaurant, Arresten, in the old jail. Then we wandered the town in search of some nightlife, but we must have been too early because the places were absolutely empty!

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