Last night, an informal rocket-launching party was held on the beach, with ten
toy rockets launched using a variety of propellants. An international team of judges including LAT Principle Investigator Peter Michelson awarded prizes to all with special mentions for style. The picture above shows the launch teams and judges.
(Click on image for larger version.)
From the Director:
Waiting for Launch
Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) Observatory is mated to the launch vehicle and is ready to go. It has passed all stages of testing designed to ensure that it can withstand the rigors of launch and operate in the space environment. Both instruments, the Large Area Telescope
(LAT) and the Burst Monitor, are beautiful.
A few weeks ago, the launch date of June 3 was announced and a LAT collaboration meeting was scheduled, bringing many of the collaborators from around the world who have worked on GLAST, some for over a decade, to
Florida's Cape Canaveral this week. By the time most people had arrived, the launch date had slipped to June 5, as the Flight Readiness Review identified some additional issues with the launch vehicle that needed to be closed out before launch. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved with the launch vehicle, good progress was made on all the issues, but the launch then slipped to June 6 and then June 7 to give the engineers enough time to complete their work.
On Wednesday, an additional issue was identified with a battery on the launch vehicle that has given the mission a
launch date of NET (No Earlier Than) June 11. Launch campaigns can be like this, we're told.