We assembled a mock up balloon launch vehicle. It’s could actually fly, it just made from rather beat up parts from previous missions. We then mounted the controller and a backup tracking system on it in the exact positions they were on Away 35. we can now start chasing the GPS antenna issue we saw on Away 35.
We also built up a shop ground station. A lot of old gear was pressed once more into service. The tricky part was building the cables to connect it to the newer stuff. The manuals were of dubious help. When the old manuals were written the new stuff (and their protocols) didn’t exist. The writers of the new manuals never thought anyone would be hooking their pretty new boxes to the klugie ancient things we have laying around the shop.
We made a great airship motor controllers tester unit that flew on Away 35. It had a little motor and prop, and was packed full of sensors. It has the same plugs and connector as the big airship motor systems. In flight the controller doesn’t know the difference between it and a 2hp motor driving a 2 meter blade. It worked great on the Away 35 mission, however it was squished flat on landing. It took a team member a full day, but it’s now all healed.