I have goose bumps! My launch has been arranged for Saturday 11th July 15 (this Saturday). I’m going to launch from Queen Mary’s Grammar School grounds in Walsall. I should get some stunning views of the Midlands and the Peak District.
The initial prediction for Saturday looks great! I’ll launch at 2:00am and fly to an altitude of ~36km. Sunrise should begin once the probe reaches an altitude of 25km. This will mean I get to see the two hours leading up to sunrise as well as about 50 minutes after sunrise. The balloon should burst just south of the Peak District and the probe should land near Ollerton, Nottinghamshire.
The initial weather prediction for Saturday looks good. At 2:00am there will be little, if any cloud and it should be quite mild at 11oC. The only difficulty will be the wind speed which is a little higher than the team would like.
With examinations underway the team is down to just a few members at meets. Some of them are working on the Sun Chaser Movie. They’ve got all of the ‘Making of’ footage and they’re planning the movie around the footage which the probe should capture at altitude.
They quickly drafted a storyboard and then set about discussing details, design and music. They’ve got some great ideas and the first draft sounds really impressive.
While work began on the movie, the remaining members of the team started constructing the beacon circuit, weighing all of the equipment to fly aboard the probe and cutting the last camera mount on the probe.
Everything is coming together and we’ll be ready in plenty of time for the launches in June. I’m getting really excited!
The team has been working double time to get everything ready. One of the last jobs is to cut and carve the airframe so that all of the equipment fits securely. Three of the team’s engineers set about measuring positions for all of the equipment based on their design.
Measuring and marking is very tricky as the probe box is a cube with a side length of less than 200mm so there isn’t much space to work inside. Having already practiced with the different cutting tools on off-cuts the engineers had a good idea of which tools to use for each job.
Cutting requires a steady hand and the Dremel is a perfect tool as it leaves a smooth edge (if you use the right tools) and can be held with a pen grip for detailed work.
With exams looming most of the team will be revising. They’ve nearly finished the probe and the they have all trained hard for this. All that’s left to say is, “good luck to everyone for their exams!”