A week of waiting

I haven’t written a post in a week. Reasons for this include a lack of exciting activity, a lack of pictures, and overall melancholy as we have been playing the waiting game, trying our best to get Theo ready for cryogens.

We have hopefully found and fixed the last of our leaks– it is really difficult to get an experiment with that many vacuum flanges to be vacuum tight! The smallest scratch on a surface or tiny piece of schmutz on an o-ring can break your vacuum. Despite our vast collective experience and careful work in closing up, mistakes are made. Thankfully, we have also become very adept at finding and fixing leaks! After today’s leak check, we think we are close to as low of a pressure as we can achieve with no detectable leaks. Hopefully we will decide to fill liquid nitrogen tomorrow, and then the real fun begins! Might have base temperature detectors this time next week! But I am getting ahead of myself.

Here are some pictures from this week. First, wrapping up my vehicles and buildings tour:

A year and a bit ago when SPIDER was getting integrated in Palestine, TX, a few of us had a memorable night of watching some of the riggers arm wrestle, and then joining in the contest ourselves. That inspired Natalie to organize a SPIDER arm wrestling tournament. We’ve been doing matches after lunch in the galley, and they have been a nice light-hearted break from work. Below, Ivan (undefeated) was teaching Johanna technique, and Sean was her guinea pig.

Today we arrived at LDB to find a seal in our backyard! It’s a long ways to the nearest water, so we are curious how he got there. He quickly scooted his way across and out of LDB, happily heading in the correct direction toward water.

I’ll close with a picture of Erebus because it looks cool every day and I only take a picture every other day, but that’s still a lot of pictures, so I have to post one.

Erebus often has its own clouds. Here, there is a strip of them, so you can see the top and bottom.

Erebus often has its own clouds. Here, there is a strip of them, so you can see the top and bottom.

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