MagAO-X 2024Aa Day 1: It lives!

The sun rising on a day of unpacking.

Is there anything more tantalizing than an fresh, unopened box of MagAO-X? This team just couldn’t resist. The unpacking festivities started at the first call of the returning night shift astronomers and did not finish until our good friend Orion had completely risen.

The very first gift of the day was an early morning Carlos Culpeo spotted by a Josh who’s sleep schedule hasn’t quite agreed with all the travel yet. This curious fox was later spotted at lunch, and we hope he becomes a regular.

After a reviving breakfast of the highest LCO standards, we shuttled up to the clean room and got to work on our hard hat activities. This includes the reverse of everything we did in Tucson (see Logan’s packing video) but enjoy these snapshots of cranes and dollys and etc. to jog your memory.

Geared up and ready!
Getting the instrument box in position.
The bolts are taken off the door.
Door is taken off the box.
Now we de-box the box.
MagAO-X freed and in good shape!
aaaand all the bolts had to go right back on the empty shipping box.

We were so fast and efficient, we had time to catch another fan favorite, Gary, who wandered up to the parking lot to check on what we were up to.

With another good animal omen bestowed upon us, and lunch in our stomachs, we got back to work freeing the electronics box from it’s larger, wooden box. Don’t try this at home kids, these are advanced crane moves best performed with at some two professionals and at least four grad students standing around in hard hats, looking anxious.

Workplace briefing with a view.
Grad student stabilization.

And all of a sudden, MagAO-X was out of it’s box and in the clean room, and it was only 3pm! Every time, it seems like we do it faster. Even our crane operator Juan was surprised. About at that time we all were ready for some caffine, and a break from hard hats.

The much needed 4pm coffee break

Woof. What a blog post. We’ve unpacked it, so we must be done, right? What, we still need to set up the clean room? You mean we’re only halfway through? Well… if this blog post is long, it’s only because you’re right there in it with us.

Before we could do anything else, the clean room had to get… actually clean. The youngest and spry-est of us took on the challenge. Special recognition to Katie for surviving the fumes of the glass cleaner long enough to finish the clean room mopping.

And still, everything looks alright!

Once Laird arrived, some initial optical inspection occurred! Welcome Laird! Turns out you can only do so much without the cameras on to tell you what’s misaligned, so the real alignment will have to wait for tomorrow.

We ran into some unexpected traffic on our way back up to the cleanroom from dinner at the lodge:

Once we were finally clear, we finished up with the nitty gritty of glycol and cabling

Checking that there are no leaks, and the coolant is running smoothly.
Passing on re-cabling secrets to the next generation.

The good news? ITS ALIVE. All of the computers have turned on, the new GPUS hare happily chugging along, and we are ready for the DM cabling and alignment tomorrow. If you made it this far, congratulations, you have gotten through what will probably be our second longest day of the run.

Wow, does it feel good to be back.

Song of the day

Maggie says we gotta have some nature? Here’s a cool condor shot I took today!

And in his majestic honor, the song of the day:

I, Carrion (Icarian) by Hozier