The flight

So yesterday was the day we all had been waiting for and the outcome could not have been better. It first started of quite early with a pre flight meeting at 7:15. During the meeting it stood clear that the rocket was not fully ready yet and that the launch crew would need at least half an hour to prepare it so the decision to delay the countdown with thirty minutes to 8:30 were taken. This half hour where soon prolonged to an hour but suddenly it was time to initiate the countdown. The countdown procedure that was used lasts for two hours and at about T-1h30m we had the chance to check the communication with our experiment. Since we had seen quite some trouble with this earlier we were very happy to see that everything checked out fine for us. After the experiment checkout the experiments were powered down again until T-10 m. At this point we sent the mission mode command to the experiment and received the so called SOE signal which in our case switches on the internal batteries. Everything worked out fine but during the whole procedure we were only waiting for the hold which we all thought would come but suddenly it was time for the so well known 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 and suddenly we could all see though the windows of the science centre how the rocket accelerated up n to the sky. At T+72.7s we lost contact with the experiment which meant that the FFU had been ejected from the rocket. Now everything we could do was to sit and wait until we would receive any messages either on the beacon receiver or on the website were we check for received messages from the satellite  transmitter. After about five aver full minutes we finally started to receive blank messages. This at least meant that the parachute had opened as planed and a little while later we started to receive the position. We were all excited over the success in deed everything worked as planned so when the helicopter went to recover the FFU it found the FFU lying just at the position of the final coordinates. At this point we were sitting extremely nervous in the operation room to hear any news from the helicopter which were behind a mountain which meant that we did not have any radio contact with it. So when we finally reached them and they told us that they had the FFU in the helicopter we all screamed of happiness!


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