Monday, April 20, 2009

Snug in the clean room with its new collars on!

Another really long day that ended on a high note! Eben in particular worked like a man possessed & saved the day more than once. Perhaps he was just trying to keep warm? By midnight, wind chill took the temperature down to -2C, but he was still buzzing back & forth between SALT & the workshop in shorts & a T-shirt!

After trimming down the 12 L-brackets that held the SAC to the Terrestrial Receiver (one by one), the steel collar could be lowered into position & bolted to the steel SAC interface ring. Next came the aluminium collar that will attach to the aluminium ring in the Non-Rotating Structure (NRS) on the payload. Then it was time for the 3 bear(ing)s to be installed & some "optical grease" was sprayed around to ensure comfortable mating of the 2 collars.

With James' multiply redundant safety mechanisms (aka the JOC-straps) in place, the L-brackets (aka SAC fingers) could be removed & the SAC was lifted out of the terrestrial receiver & lowered into the NRS simulator.

The simulator jig + passenger was then carefully persuaded into the clean room by the IQ Team's beefy pack of forwards (rugby speak in case the Americans are wondering). This will be its new home for the duration of the optical testing & alignment work that's due to start on Thursday...

In the meantime, it's back to Cape Town to vote in the national election on Wednesday & to pack much warmer clothes for next time!

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