Dennis Wingo end of day Tuesday January 7, 2014
Did I say if the machine cooperates? Looks like we may have a bearing problem in the head that is on the machine right now..... We may have to send it and another head back to Videomagnetics to swap the drum (which holds the head tips) from one to another.
We have another head that has problems that we may be able to get adjusted. Videomagnetics has graciously sent us tools to do the very delicate work to adjust the tip orientation on the heads. It is an extremely difficult task.
We made it through tape G4-033 today but G4-034 just looks like crap as the bearings do a momentary thing where the head slows down and we lose synchronization with the rest of the mechanics....
Status update, mid morning January 7, 2014
Lots of progress yesterday, though much of it for not good reasons. Last Friday we completed the Woomera captures and got the first two Goldstone tapes (G4-001,002) captured. Yesterday we made it all the way through G4-027! That's the good news. The bad news is that only 11 tapes had usable image data. There are a couple of reasons for this. The story is that a thermal door did not shut completely when commanded, allowing stray light into the spacecraft.
This was eventually fixed with a work around, but many images were lost or too fogged to be of any use. You can see this in some of the gaps in LO-IV images and coverage of the Moon. I had always wondered why there were no images of the southern region of the Moon near the South Pole Atkien basin. Now I know.
Today we are already running and am currently capturing G4-030. If the machine continues to operate smoothly (always a caveat on that one), then by Friday I should get to between G4-70 and G4-80. I am coming in extra time and I hope to push this to get all the way through Goldstone, but that is my stretch goal.
We will see!