Palestine, Texas Day 10

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Status of the hanger, shell not painted yet

Day 10 in Palestine was a short one, at least for Brian and myself.  It began with a Lowe’s trip (see Palestine, Texas Day 3) for John and Pierre-Simon to pick up a roll of insulation.  Although the hangar could use some extra insulation, it’s actually for the flange of the shell.  We want to minimize any temperature fluctuations inside the shell, especially once it holds our instrument.  James also made a run to pick up paint later in the day.  Sarah and I wanted to paint a blue hen and a banana slug on the shell; the mascots of UD and UCSC respectively.  And maybe a penguin because penguins.  Instead, the paint is extra white.  That’s right. Not a slight white.  An extra white.  Our airtight shell will be bright.  We’ll probably be able to see it at night during its flight.  It’ll be quite the sight to see as it lifts off from the launch site.  Okay, this is getting extremely trite… smite.  There is a reason that it has to be white, however.  The color white reflects all wavelengths of light.  Therefore, by painting the outside of the shell with a white paint of known reflectiveness we gain more control over any thermal factors involved in our experiment.

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Brian continued working on our black box data recorders, ensuring they are ready to go come flight time.  He also got the port server up and running.  A little before 2 pm, once Brain finished his tasks and I updated the website, the two of us left to go watch the AFC and NFC Championship games at a local sports bar.  It was great because everyone there hated my beloved Patriots.  They chirped around me all game long while the Pats were losing.  One guy, who was actually amiable, would come over to check on me occasionally to see how I was handling the situation.  When the game ended and the Pats won, the beautiful sound of disappointed silence filled the bar around me as I cheered.

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View of a few CSBF buildings from the launch site

While this was happening, John, James, Sarah, and Pierre-Simon were still at CSBF doing their jobs.  Sarah bridged the Monte Carlo to the data, which is a big step in the development of the analysis software.  Our neighbor Chris, the bread baker, also started teaching her how to bake bread.  Hopefully her bread tastes and smells as good as his.  Then they all took a walk around the launch site simply to get some exercise and enjoy one of the first nice days in Texas since we arrived.  Finally, they set the pressure of the C3F8 in the Cherenkov tank to 11.8 psi.  The purpose of this is to remove as many muons and protons from the tank as possible.

After their work was done, Sarah, Pierre-Simon, Chris, and James joined us at the bar to watch the Eagles destroy the Vikings in shocking fashion.  I mostly stopped watching after halftime because it was simply embarrassing after that.  Brian though, loved every minute of the game.  His Eagles will face off against my Patriots in the Super Bowl this year, a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX in which the Patriots won by a field goal.  Unfortunately, I won’t still be in Texas for the Super Bowl.  It would be fun to watch the game with him in that sports bar, but I’ll be back in Delaware by then.

-Matt Collins



Categories: Palestine, Texas

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