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Home > Rockets > Cascades > Updates > March 8, 2005

CASCADES - Update - March 8, 2005

We are sorry to report that Cascades had a motor failure on Saturday night/Sunday morning. The third stage of the motor did not ignite. All timers and functions on the payload appeared to work fine, and the other 3 motors all performed apparently nominally, but the 3rd stage did not burn when its igniter was triggered.

Much investigation ensues.

A snowmachine crew and helicopter went out to find and recover the payload this afternoon, and the snowmachine crew was able to retrieve it and sled it back this evening. Considering that it landed at 180 mph, it is in remarkably recognizable condition. We will take it apart on Tuesday to see if anything inside is salvageable.

The event we launched into was beautiful; it was a substorm expansion very close to local midnight so the activity directly overhead was unbelievably beautiful. We would have seen lots of very structured aurora on the upleg of the flight, and passed through the polar cap boundary fairly close to overhead Kaktovic.

My students and I intend to work with the UAF/GI scientists to take observational ground camera data for the remainder of the week. We will open the window for the Dust launches Tuesday evening, but the level of auroral activity over the last few days may prevent our launching Dust for a day or two.