I’m saddened to report that the COSI/SPB balloon flight was terminated much earlier than expected. The balloon developed a leak after the first day at float and we decided to increase the chances of instrument recovery this season instead of continuing operations for as long as the balloon maintained altitude. The payload had a smooth landing at about 6:15 am this morning and is currently sitting 350 miles from McMurdo at an elevation of 8000 ft. Hopefully we’ll be able to get out there within the week to recover the hard drives and detectors and whatever else will fit in the plane.
Thank you to everyone who followed the campaign, your positive words were encouraging and inspiring. Thank you to NASA and the SPB program, it was an honour to be able to be the first science flight on this generation of super pressure balloons, too bad we couldn’t kick that 55-day-record’s butt. A huge thanks goes out to all of CSBF, the support you’ve shown us and our science team over the past months has been amazing and your handle on the launch and termination was precise and professional. Here’s to another COSI launch in the super near future!