Thursday, May 18, 2006

Back to Normal

I arrived back in Boulder on Monday afternoon, two days earlier than I originally planned. With all the mission objectives accomplished, it was decided that rather than intercompare with the DC-8 on Monday and transit home on Wednesday, we'd be able to finish everything necessary so that by the time the intercomparison was done, the plane could just fly home. So it's all done...
Tuesday and Wednesday, all the instruments was stripped off the plane, and by yesterday afternoon it was bare - seats, racks, inlets, you name it, they were gone. It's almost depressing how fast they can be removed. What took almost 2 months of effort to install took less than 14 hours of labour to dismantle. Our group didn't even start the process until the second day, and we were completely off by 4 PM. Sadly, all our stuff is now in pieces, and it will take more than a few weeks of work to put it back together in the laboratory.

So my second trip to Seattle turned out to be rather short, but it was still successful. My inlet (HO2/RO2) hadn't been working for 2 1/2 flights, and on Saturday and Sunday we managed to get it back in working order. This was a relief, specifically because of the intercomparison that was done during the transit flight. Because we had a hard down day on Friday, I even got to have a day off, during which I went back to the Pike Place Market - and this time I got to see it "in action". Keep in mind that the two main features of the market are flowers and fish. The crab is a dungeness crab - a VERY tasty little guy - I like it more than lobster.

I also took a few pictures of Paine Field, where the C-130 lived for the last month. It was on a ramp next to an old B52 and a plane that used to be the Queen's. This is why it has 4 props even though it was fairly small. The B52 is just a behemouth... 8 jet engines, a HUGE bomb bay (that you can duck into and stand up inside, if you're so inclined), and wheels on the ends of the wings.

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