SPIDER-2 is aloft! Our payload launched yesterday, December 22, 2022, at 10:28 local time (UTC: 09:28 on 21 Dec). This was coincidentally less than 20 minutes before the solstice. The whole team is thrilled, and eagerly hunting through the first telemetry data. Then it will be time for some science!

A few photographs are below. More another day when I’ve had a bit more sleep…

SPIDER-2 on the Antarctic launch vehicle (“The Boss”), soon after being picked up from our high bay.
SPIDER on the flight line, just before balloon release. The balloon is at left, with only the top “bubble” filled with helium (the rest fills at altitude, as the pressure drops and the helium expands). The parachute is visible in the right half of the image, extending to the payload and launch vehicle.
SPIDER shortly after release from the launch vehicle, beginning its ascent to the stratosphere.

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