(As it happened) with pictures!
Strong winds at high altitudes mean that we have had to cancel Sunday’s flight.
We (Andover Space Programme) will still be LIVE on the a-Fest livestream, tomorrow at 11.20am
Tune in here on Sunday 6th September to enjoy an interview with Andover Space Programme Flight Director Tom Mansfield.
For now, let’s take a look at the Mission Control Logbook for the past three days:
Friday September 4th 9.24am
It looks like there’s going to be some strong northerlies at higher altitudes, meaning our balloon will be pushed south pretty quickly. There’s therefore a risk of a splashy landing and an unrecoverable balloon.
No need to change our plans at this point, as the predictions will likely continue to change over the next 48 hours. But it does look like we’ll need to use the smaller of our two balloons and fill it tight in order to go for the lower altitude. It also looks like pushing the launch time earlier might be some help.
Q. What’s the explody picture on the diagram?
A. The explody bit is the expected bursting point. When the balloon bursts the craft starts coming down on its parachute. Red dot is the expected landing point.
Saturday September 5th 10.14am
Update on launch window: the CAA have issued their NOTAM (notice to aircraft) & specified that we’ll be launching between 11.05am and 11.45am BST. We therefore must launch within this time window if we launch on Sunday 6th September.
Update on Flight Predictions: essentially we’re looking now at flying over Portsmouth and landing, if we’re lucky, on the Isle of Wight.
I’ve also been looking at some backup plans in the week ahead and currently it looks like Tuesday 8th would be a good fallback date for launch, with a predicted landing near Haslemere.
I’ll write to the CAA now letting them know and requesting another NOTAM for Tuesday (we have to give them 72 hours notice). Assuming they grant permission, we launch then, sometime between 11.30am and 1.30pm (predictions at both ends of this look good and it gives them the requisite notice for NOTAM).
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