# Gravity Probe B went up at 9:57 AM today

1. Apr 21, 2004

### marcus

A friend of mine was at Vandenburg for the launch. I just spoke with her by phone and she gave me a guest's-eye view of the proceedings.
She says the briefings and talks earlier were a big part of it.
Almost more than watching the actual launch.

It was too windy in the high atmosphere for the scheduled Monday lift-off, so they delayed it till today. A lot of those invited had to leave Monday, so they missed it.

For security or some other reason, you couldnt watch any closer than 7 miles. They were bussed to an observation point 7 miles from the pad.
My friend says it went up at 9:57 in the morning----I dont know what the official news release says.

Earlier there had been a lot of fog, especially over the ocean. But by 9 AM it had cleared where they were and they had blue sky overhead. What was her visual impression of the first stage as she watched it ascend? "Extremely bright". Also that it left a smoke trail.

Last edited: Apr 21, 2004
2. Apr 21, 2004

### marcus

Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
3. Apr 21, 2004

### marcus

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2004/april21/gpbshort-421.html

this came out today in the Stanford house organ "Stanford Report"
nice pictures---like of a niobium-coated quartz ball

a picture of the big dewar flask that holds
645 gallons of superfluid helium

the balls apparently are supposed to spin 5,000 to 10,000 rpm

the satellite is supposed to lock onto some star in Pegasus
to maintain fixed direction (to have something to compare the gyro axes to)

Leonard Schiff proposed it in 1959, how time flies

4. Apr 22, 2004

### meemoe_uk

I seem to remember the mission will take 16 months.
But from what I gather, there's no reason why they cant be taking readings from the giroscopes every few weeks. Preliminary results might be with us within a couple of months... as far as I gather. True?

5. Apr 22, 2004

### marcus

Meemoe, why dont you be our expert on this experiment (unless Phobos, Integral, Enigma et al already have all the details ready)

for experimental tests of GR it doesnt get more authoritative than
Clifford Wills, and here is a technical article on GPB by Wills

http://arxiv.org/gr-qc/0212069 [Broken]

you are invited to report whatever you can find out from this

I dont know when (or even whether) preliminary results might be made available. Does anyone know anything relevant to meemoe's question?

Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
6. Apr 22, 2004

### Loren Booda

I think it neat how spherical those quartz orbs measure! I would not be surprised if they exhibit previously unknown propreties of spacetime.

7. Apr 23, 2004

### meemoe_uk

Meemoe and expert should not be used in the same sentence without a negator! But I read up on abit more on GPB and it wont be ready for another 38 to 58 days.

8. Apr 23, 2004

### marcus

already you are telling me news
and give me the link so I can read up a bit more myself

it is very helpful to have a local expert, that is a person
something he is interested in, but I will think of another
name for the job (head look-out? the guy in the crows nest?
night watchman?)

what do you mean by "ready"
although idea is exciting

9. Apr 23, 2004

### wolram

MARCUS
you can subscribe to a weekly news update here
http://einstein.stanford.edu/

click on.
GP-B Launch Companion in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
here you will find a table that gives a time line
for all tasks to be completed befor science can
begin

Last edited: Apr 24, 2004
10. Apr 26, 2004

### marcus

thanks for the suggestion

this is dated today 26 April