2 June, 2000

Winds were blowing at 20+ knots outside the red Quonset hut. Inside, although there was no heater, it felt relatively warm (about 6 C).

Dr. Detlef Helmig of University of Colorado-Boulder carefully spread out the blue tarpaulin so that it covered the floor and the boxes around the perimeter. Then, he carefully inspected the walls and ceiling of the hut for any sharp edges. First the blue fins were lifted from the box and then the long tapered cylinder of the mini- blimp was extended onto the tarp. He started filling the blimp with helium. It filled slowly, and shifted about so that it almost hit a sharp edge of a metal case. I carefully slipped around to steady the blimp from the front and happened to notice that the front valve was open. The inflation was much faster after that. After the inflation, we attached the blue fins that help stablize the blimp in flight. Unfortunely, there will be no balloon flights with the winds as high as they are. Let's hope for calmer conditions tomorrow so we can

test fly this little baby.

The Twin Otter made a second run today and dropped off 3 more people. More scientists, more projects to get into. Things are really getting interesting around here./

Warm regards,

Besse Dawson

With the red building casting a glow, Dr. Helmig inflates the first blimp. > <>

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