torsdag 5 mars 2009

Rocket launch!

So the last night of the February rocket window passed with a substorm and brilliant aurora... but no rocket since we were even worse out for winds than we've been before! That means that we will leave Toolik and Alaska without a rocket launch! =( The devastation was total! So total, that we decided we couldn't have it like that, we needed a rocket! So, as Faye would say, what is a girl to do? Well, we needed to build our own rocket! We told Scott and Shelby about our plans, and they had lots of ideas! Shelby turned out to be a top-class producer of hydrogen gas, and Scott is very handy, so they quickly turned a toilet-paper-roll and some tape into our own Toolik Hydrogen Rocket. The rocket was then placed in a tube, with hydrogen gas underneath, that we were going to ignite with a long pokey stick! It was quite windy outside but we decided we were NOT out for winds, and survaillance said GO so we went...5-4-3-2-1 and BOOM! The rocket flew through the air... almost a whole meter!! We were laughing so hard, rocket launches are so much fun, and after having waited for 4 weeks up here it felt so great to finally get a rocket in the air!

Scott and his creation
Shelby's hydrogen gas producing device, the gas fills the tube to the right

After some sequence tests we decided that the Toolik Hydrogen Rocket was ready for launch!


And it went! Just not so far...
So, I know you're all dying to hear if we got any good data? Well, the aurora wasn't so impressive tonight, but two nights ago we had a proper substorm, the whole sky lit up by the aurora and there were so much structure in there! We were standing outside for ages, just gazing up at the sky and all the beautiful forms showing up there... I don't know if you're getting fed up of aurora pictures here, but I can never get enough, so here are some more!

With the rocket window being closed now, we're heading back down to Fairbanks on Saturday, for the third part of this adventure (the first one being working on SMILE at Poker flat and the second up here at Toolik). The last part will be our PFISR radar campaign, when we will try to get some black aurora in our cameras.. We have radar runs almost every night next week, from 22 to 04, so we might as well just stay on a night schedule until we go home.. and we are going home! It's now settled that we are both going back to Stockholm on 15 March. So we're about to start our last week in Alaska, which feels good.. and still, somehow, I really like it here and a part of me could stay forever.

1 kommentar:

  1. We need to have you in charge of deciding whether or not we are out for winds for the big rocket!