Days 7 and 8 of the launch window were lost due to gale force winds at the launch site. Fortunately things were pretty quiet overhead in the ionosphere, as predicted, so we likely would not have launched anyway.
Conditions are starting to pick up in the solar wind but sadly another day has been lost. This morning during the initial daily checks a pressure regulator in the attitude control system failed and had to be replaced. It requires enough work to take the rocket down and replace the part that we completely lost the day and tomorrow may be in doubt as well.
The ground conditions at Svalbard have been much better than at the launch site. The break from the wind has been nice since it had been pretty nasty on top of the mountain when we first arrived (the video above is one of the better looking days). Luckily for us we have a pretty sweet ride to the top. We drive our four wheel drive van up about 2/3 up the side of the mountain to a coal mining outpost, then rendezvous with a familiar mode of transportation.
The bad news about the mostly cloudy and windy weather we keep getting on Svalbard is that it really limits visibility. Technically we could find the right conditions to launch without seeing the sky, but we all would feel much better if we could see what we were launching into!
Once again we wait, hopefully we have some good news soon.
Until next time…