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December 28, 2000
December 28, 2000 -  After several weeks of effort the ATIC payload was launched today at 04:25 UTC.  The day started out mostly cloudy with light snow falling.  However, the ground and low altitude winds began decreasing allowing a launch to be attempted.  The experiment was configured for flight (adding solar panels, rotator and ballast hopper) and mounted on the launch vehicle.  About 1:40pm local time the launch vehicle and payload left the barn for the launch pad. Once on site the vehicle was positioned and the balloon, lift train and parachute laid out.  Balloon inflation began about 4:30pm local time and was completed shortly before launch. 

The launch itself was picture perfect, except for the cloudy skies aloft, and the balloon slowly disappeared to the clouds almost directly above us.  Somewhat later the clouds had parted enough that we were able to view the experiment climbing past 60,000 feet and later as it was at float altitude.  

The experiment is currently operating well and we expect to continue to track it over the next ten days.

Check out Bill Rodman's video journal for the latest on the ATIC experiment.


The ATIC experiment begins its climb out to float altitude. 

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