The EXIST team traveled to Esrange Space Center on the Friday evening the 13th. There the team will do the final preparations and put the experiment in the gondola of the balloon before it's launched. The balloon or mission is called BEXUS 24. On this gondola there is a total of four BEXUS experiments. The BEXUS 25 balloon is also being prepared at the same time which host an additional four BEXUS experiments.
The first launch attempt will be on the 18th but bad weather or winds may very well push back the launch date several days.
Enjoy some pictures and short information from the launch campaign.
To the left we can see our electronics responsible, Lucas, mounting the EXIST relay box in the gondola. In the middle we can see our very serious mechanical responsible, Vince, securing some bolts in the gondola. To the right we see the gondola of BEXUS 24 with most experiments mounted.
On Tuesday the 17th 2017, the EXIST team along with the other BEXUS 24 teams passed the "Flight Readyness Review". This means that all teams and the Esrange personell are GO for liftoff. The first launch attempt will take place on the 18th 08:00. The launch preperations will start at 04:00 the same day.
On Wednesday the 18/10 October BEXUS 24 launched with EXISTs experiment. The day started with an attempt at launch 08.00. Due to snow the first launch attempt was cancelled. Then a second attempt at launch was done at 14.30. This launch attempt was successful and EXIST experiment flew into the sky. The experiment landed in Finland later that day.
The activities on Esrange consists of a lot of tests to make sure everything works as it is supposed to. After the individual testing of the experiment, it will be mounted in the gondola and tested together with the other experiments.
In the left picture there is a picture of Hercules carrying the gondola during the first launch attempt. The middle picture shows when the gondola is returned due to bad weather for the first launch attempt. The right picture shows inflated balloon during launch 14:30.
Above to the right we can see an overview of the room called "Dome" at Esrange where all eight BEXUS 24 and 25 teams are working. In the middle we see a picture of the two fully constructed EXIST sensor boxes in the back and the relay box in front.
In the left picture shown above the EXIST team are attaching the cables to the flight train with Esrange personal. The middle picture shows the gondola with all BEXUS 24 experiments. The right picture shows EXISTs project manager signig the Flight readyness papers.