We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.
For a second year in a row this past winter (December, 2019 and January, 2020) a group of people from our lab spent a month in Antarctica. Two of our graduate students, Sam Gordon and Adrian Sinclair have been working on BLAST-TNG project for four years.
The instrument was working well and launched on January 6, 2020.
On launch a piece of the balloon called the collar, used to keep the balloon confined during inflation hit the payload on its way down after release. Once we were at float altitude (about 32 km) the instrument initially seemed to be working well.
After about 10 hours at an altitude of about 110,000 feet, the BLAST telescope structure had an "anomaly" and the flight was terminated. We collected enough data to confirm the engineering performance of the telescope and detectors but minimal scientific data.
We are now preparing a proposal for an ultra-long duration flight of a similar instrument from New Zealand.
To learn more about BLAST's mission go to: https://sites.northwestern.edu/blast/
For more information and details about our group's incredible journey to Antarctica read: https://askdrphilastro.wordpress.com/
From left to right : Sam Gordon and Adrian Sinclair
We are an astronomical instrumentation group at Arizona State University
Our group consists of astrophysicists, physicists, and engineers who are engaged in a variety of cosmology Instrumentation projects, RF & microwave engineering, and quantum information technology. We are located in ISTB IV on the ASU Tempe campus.