Friday, July 30, 2010

Deploying the primary mirror cover

This afternoon the guys put up the new primary mirror cover.  This version's much lighter than the one used when the SAC was taken down as it's made of parachute material, rather than thick canvas.  The cover was lifted with the dome crane, then attached to the top beam of the structure by Charl & Nicolaas in the cherry-picker.

They then expertly navigated around to collect the 6 ropes that had been strung up around the structure & tied those to the appropriate attachment points on the mirror sail.

Guys standing on the pier then pulled the respective ropes to unfurl the cover, first the bottom 3 positions (at 4, 6 & 8 o'clock) around the mirror.

Then the top 3 at 10, 12 & 2 o'clock.

The tent-like cover slowly took shape & all the ropes were securely fastened.  The blue section's seen from the high side of the mirror while the rest of the cover's black.

Excellent job everyone - a great way to end a busy week :)  Now we get to take some very deep breaths this weekend, before all the really scary fun starts on Monday...

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