Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Telescope is here

Has been 3 days since the last post, the reason being we were very busy.

It all started on Thursday (3/8) when our friend from Astro-Norte on their way to Calama spotted two big oversized loads parked on the side of the San Pedro's bypass. The reason they stopped there turned out to be the fact they have to wait for the night for San Pedro's utility company to cut down the remaining 3 power lines that separated our precious load from the "Paso de Jama" road. This is the road that through the Jama pass connects Chile with Argentina and it's also our main way to Cerro Toco, at least until we abandon it for the dirt road.

The day after we went up the mountain fairly early sure to catch the Telescope on its way up but they beat us. They left around two in the morning and made it up the mountain around nine. By the end of the day the Telescope mount was unloaded and ready to be installed on the concrete pad, but it was late and we decide to postpone it to the morning after.

Today was a really busy day: the Telescope's mount went on by the middle of the morning, in the meanwhile our "very" temporary generator was put in operation. In the afternoon we finally had the "big lift": the Telescope was lifted from its transport cradle and installed on the mount that was bolted down to the concrete pad early today. Toward the end of the day two more containers arrived, they were loaded with steel beams to erect the ground screen. Yesterday Madhuri arrived and this afternoon (i.e. Chilean morning) she helped set the Adobe container in its final location.

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