Leaving Esrange

After two amazing weeks the time have come to leave Esrange. The team is currently in the car and we left Esrange for about two hours ago. Even if this marks the end of the launch campaign this does not mean that the project is finished. We will have plenty of work to do in order to evaluate the results of the project. This will end up in a number of documents. We also hope to be able to go to the 20th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research. Which will take place in Hyéres, France, between the 22nd and 26th of may. The final report of the project will be the last version of the SED which will be handed in at the end of June. Under this period we will try our best to keep the blog updated!

The SQUIDMOBILE at the gate of Esrange

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Launch campaign episode 2

So the clock is now 00:20 am and of course it would not be a launch campaign without problems and late nights. When testing the SCALE systems it turned out they were not operating as previously and the deployment got interrupted in some of the units. So now we are working in order to fix it. Only problem is that this time we are not at KTH and the launch campaign is not “soon” but now and the deadlines are for real. So the team just kicked in the 45:th gear, poured yet a cup of black “wake up” magic liquid, polished the fog out of our eyes and stomped on the gas. We’re going on fumes here so lets hope we really get all the way.

In the meantime enjoy episode 2 of the launch campaign now including the road trip from KTH to Esrange and Monday at Esrange.

The trip!

After some busy days fo preparations it was finally time for departure for the final travel up to ESRANGE Kiruna. The plan, as I´m pretty sure everyone know by now, was to drive our way up. The trip from Stockholm to Kiruna is more than 1200 km but we had decided to try to drive it without stoping on our ways (excluding breaks and such of course). We all met at SPP at 10:00 saturday to pack our bags into the car. After a quick coffee  we started to pack. It all went quite quick and we were actually able to drive out from SPP before planned meaning that we left SPP at 11:20. I, Gustav, took care of the first part of the drive which took us up to just north of Gävle (about 200 km north of Stockholm). From there the trip continued with only short breaks for refueling (the car is quite thirsty using about 1.8 l / 10 km) with Boden as our next target. Just before Umeå the team where however stopped by the police since they thought we where going back and forward on the road (the car is kind of tricky to steer actually). All of us were of course a bit stressed up and it was of course worst  for Georg who were driving and therefore had to be tested for alcohol. However after that unplanned stop the trip continued until we reached Boden. There we got a great welcome and a great dinner at Davids parents restaurant, Oscar II. After plenty of good food (and quite a loth of coffee) we continued north. At about half past four in the morning it was once again my time to take care of the driving (in total we were six of us sharing the driving but I were the only one having to drive twice). The first part of this shift was in total darkness but after about twenty minutes we encountered three raindeers who where standing in the middle of thew raod. However we passed them without any problems. After 45 minutes the sun started to rise which were kind of lucky since I at that point were quite tired. Soon enough we arrived to ESRANGE (at about 7:30 in the morning to be exact). By then we had been  on the road for 20 hours straight.

SQUIDmobile has arrived!

So I´m pretty sure everyone by now have understood that we´re going to drive our way up to Kiruna. So today the car finally arrived to SPP. I´m attaching the pictures to this post, they will have to speak for them selves. We´ll of course upload some pictures from the interior as well but that will happen later…

Also among the pictures are some from the last hours of preparations. Theses are now over and we have just start to pack.