Recycling Launch of BLT33.10 and Plans to Activate Gridsquare DL88 in Big Bend

Now we had those 3 recovered balloons from BLT33.9. They all looked quite intact and still had plenty of helium inside. Only one of the three had a tiny hole close to the neck which we could simply fix with a piece of Scotch tape. We thought it would be cool to re-launch the whole flight vehicle a second time. It was rather impossible to find new helium in Sonora where we stayed in a motel, but German engineers always find a trick: We re- distributed all the remaining helium into two of the three balloons with our yellow super filling tube. The third balloon was now empty and was completely removed from the flight train. By removing the hull weight of the third balloon, the aviation vehicle gained again positive lift which was just enough to get in the air a second time. The battery was already quite empty, but by coincidence I had still the 1.5V AA Lithium battery from the BLT33.5/6 flight (K5W-11) in my car. That battery was in good condition and now lifted off the third time with a PecanPico tracker.

Our plans for tomorrow include a trip to the very South tip of the Big Bend National Park. Why? This is one of the smallest, and most remote grid squares in the US: DL88 hasn’t been activated very often. We’re planning to operate JT65  and PSK31 on 20 m for multiple hours tomorrow and if we’re not too stupid we’ll try to operate FM via SO50 (12:38 CDT) and maybe SSB via AO27 (14:36).

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