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Launch Day - January 4, 2001

TopHat in Antarctica
Please click on each image to see a larger view!
The bottom gondola during final assembly.
Bottom gondola going to launch pad. Topping of the cryogens in the dewar. Top telescope package on the way to the launch pad.
Top package at the launch pad. Inspecting cables for crane hook-up. Spool for launch being prepared for the balloon.
Bottom gondola at the launch pad. Stephan holding the test wires for the top package. Top package being removed from sled.
Balloon being removed from sled and placed through the spool.  
Tow balloon being inflated and lifting the top package.
Launch count down. Tow balloon being released and then waiting for a plane to land. Now all is ready and release and it is launched. We have lift off.