Early on Saturday morning during Memorial Day Holiday the Perlan team and special guests gathered for a last check flight before packing up for Argentina. Teacher in Space Jim Kuhl's former student Drucilla's cubesat experiment about growing moss in a Mars-like environment reflected her interest in planentary science. It flew in Argentina and again on Saturday. Drucilla and her mom were able to participate in the full flight regimen.
Michael Batalia had come to Minden to troubleshoot our new video system. Jim and Tim had flown to Rosamond to pick up the finished new front hatch from Greg Scates. Thanks Dennis for the loan of the 206 for this pickup. Ed and Linda Warnock decided a little road trip to transport part of a new video downlink system was just what they needed to start the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. Jackie had picked up a truck full of embroidered items from Wheeler's in Gardnerville. Morgan and Sandra had been working in the hangar all week. Laurie and Silvio Ricardi joined us for dinner on Friday night.
At 7 am Stewart, Jim and Jackie opened the hangar doors for Perlan 2's last check flight before Argentina. The whole gang gathered to support Tim and Morgan flying Drucilla's cubesat. The front hatch got a good seal after Jim tweaked the hard latches one final time. A 9,700 foot release altitude behind Silvio in SoaringNV's tow plane under lowering skies was the best that could be done. Besides a test of the new front hatch we also tested the new Trig "ADS-B out" transponder and the new PowerFlarm collision avoidance system. See a quick video https://youtu.be/d7-vXVc_-Hg
We will start the packing process next week. The HamburgSud vessel departs June 7. Next time Perlan soars will be in Patagonia!!!