Even more penguin, SPIDER glamour shots, and the COSI SPB launch

Uncle John the penguin stayed out at LDB basically all day when he was here, so I got more footage to share with you all. These capture his experience with the “dance floor” a wooden floor in the snow where payloads sometimes go at LDB to do tests. It was really fun to watch him try to puzzle out what this thing was. In the first video, he finally gathers up his courage and tries to dive onto it. He quickly decides against staying, but in the second video, he sticks around a little longer.

Today we had the second balloon launch of the season. The COSI experiment was launched on a super pressure balloon- a model still being tested that should allow it to fly for 100 days. The road to LDB closed shortly before I tried to head out, so I watched from town on Ob Hill. A fog was mostly covering LDB up until very shortly before launch, so we saw the balloon rise out of the fog very suddenly and smoothly carry the payload away. We could see it fully inflated later in the day through binoculars. Pretty spectacular!

Jon got an incredible video out at LDB of the balloon eclipsing the sun as it was released.

That makes it two launches down and one to go. We hear there might be good weather coming our way on Thursday… We will be ready for it! We’re fully assembled and ready to go to space!

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