Today the aircraft mechanics disassembled the launcher ejection gate valve to confirm yesterdays diagnosis. No additional damage beyond the broken springs was found that would be a cause for concern for this mission. The launcher needs to be checked after the completion of this campaign. Mack will be flying in from Denver tomorrow and hand carry the springs. They will be installed on Sunday and the launcher will be put back into place. The next science flight is planned for Monday. Dave Raymond has been kept up to date on these plans.
The springs, which we had ordered from San Jose are unfortunately too long due to a misunderstanding in the specifications. They have been custom made for us ( for $5 each). With more time and better understanding of what the specifications actually referred to, this would have been a viable option, but not under the time pressure to solve this issue.
Ejection gate valve plate with all four springs, three of which are missing at the hook on the valve body side. On the right view of broken spring prior to opening the gate valve.
Ejection gate vale body with scoff marks from the moving springs. This needs to be reviewed after the campaign.
Teflon plate, open valve body, and valve plate through launch tube, all showing only minimal wear
Laura preparing the launcher for the heaters.