Today is the day, hot countdown begins at 06:45 am LT. The weather is good, temperature is pretty low and everybody is excited about the upcoming launch. The experiment behaviour is nominal and the late acces procedure is completed a little bit ahead of schedule. Shortly after that, at T-0:50:00, we have a countdown hold as MORABA is covering the rocket motor and TESOS to keep them warm. Against our expectations, the ice temperature rises to -5,5°C. Our team at the ground station discusses what to do, and they decide to keep going as a second late access procedure wouldn’t be possible with a launch at the same day. Finally, the ice has a temperature of -4,5°C at liftoff, which is within our limits.
We enjoy the beautiful view as the rocket rises into the blue sky, but we lose visual contact as the motor burns out. Back in the Pool Room, we‘re all happy that we had a successful launch, especially as we had to wait one year until we got the chance again to launch our experiment.
Later we get the phone call that we can extract our ISCA from the recovered payload. Our late access team was among the first people to see the payload after flight. Unfortunately, the landing was harder than expected and our structure suffered severe damage. We do have all the sensor data that has been transmitted to our groundstation. Now the investigation starts to find out what has happened during the descent phase