As the launch of Sunrise III draws nearer, team members from NASA`s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility install the System Instrumentation Package (SIP) which establishes communication between the ground station and the observatory during launch, flight and landing.
Sunrise III is awaiting launch. However, the world-wide logistic situation has caused delay in helium and balloon shipment. Expected launch date is now mid-June. And our “roommate” XL-Calibur goes first.
Sunrise III’s telescope and the box holding the scientific instruments have been unpacked at Esrange Space Center. If you look closely, you can see them – each under their own „party tent“. These have by now been equipped with a plastic covering to keep out the dust.
With the hardware securely packed onto trucks, Sunrise III embarkes on its trip to the launch site at Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, Sweden. The onset of winter at MPSGoettingen gave a taste of what to expect at the Arctic Circle.
A look at the PFI in the thermal vacuum chamber shortly before the chamber is closed. Here the PFI will undergoe tests to make sure, that it can handle the harsh conditions in the stratosphere during the balloon flight.
While the Sunrise III team is working to integrate TuMag into the box holding the postfocal instrumentation, this shot from the clean rooms at MPS catches the reflection of two team members on the shiny sides of the box.
Sunrise III’s instrument TuMAG has been unpacked and is beginning to settle in at MPS. After calibrations and testing, it will join the mission’s other instruments in the box holding the postfocal instrumentation.
Last optical tests with Sunrise III‘s instrument TuMag are underway at the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial. The magnetograph is fully assembled and will embark on its journey to MPS next year to unite with the telescope and other instruments.
Remoteley operated – and closely witnessed – by team members from the National Astronomical Observatory in Japan and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía in Spain, SCIP undergoes first optical tests at MPS.
Sunrise III’s instrument SCIP which has been provided by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has safely arrived at MPS and will be integrated into the box holding the post-focal instrumentation in the next weeks.
Securely packed into boxes, Sunrise III's instrument SCIP (Sunrise Chromospheric Infrared spectroPolarimeter) left the cleanrooms at NAOJ (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) on August 10th, 2021 and will travel to MPS in Göttingen in the next days.
Looking past the (still empty) mounting device for the secondary mirror, you can see the main mirror at the far end of the structure. The main mirror has a diameter of 1 meter and weighs approximately 40 kilograms.