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Cosmic Diary

Your Ride’s Here.

24 Oct 2009, 23:57 UTC
Your Ride’s Here.
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Here is our rocket.

WISE's Delta II rocket
This is the Delta II 7320 that will launch WISE. You can see one of the three solid rocket boosters that we’ll use, as well as the first stage. The nose cone fairing isn’t installed yet since WISE is still in the high bay at Vandenberg Air Force Base, although the second stage just got installed yesterday. You can see all the scaffolding on the mobile service tower - I think the whole structure is about 120′ tall or so.
Geez, I guess this is really going to happen!
A couple of days ago we started the last cooldown the instrument will ever see (hopefully). If all goes well, the next time the payload is warm will be when the solid hydrogen runs out after the survey is finished. At the moment, I’m in the lab outside the control room looking at the last Earthbound images we’ll get from our detectors before they’re in space. Kind of strange to think that the next images we get will be from over 500 kilometers above the Earth - the beams of light that will fall on them will be coming from far, far away. ...

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