STATUS: The LEOS arrived yesterday, thanks to Brian Hall's quick trip. It was installed around midnight, which enabled us to be "up" for the first time, early this morning. This was followed by "vertical checks" (well, routine tests, but with the payload actually horizontal in this case because of the very strong winds at the range, which prevented the elevation of the rocket). The vertical checks went well, but we scrubbed early because of the very strong winds and the forecast for even stronger winds. We will be back tomorrow, filled with optimism!!

We did have clear skies in Longyearbyen and in Ny Ålesund, with weak aurora present nearly the entire time. The solar wind was only slightly improved over yesterday, though, so still did not provide much energy input for us - not likely anything we would have launched into even if we were not down for winds. Stated a bit differently, it is highly unlikely these weak arcs would have produced much or any ion and neutral upwelling. And, to make things more difficult, they tended to be aligned in the north-south direction, reducing the chance that the rocket would have flown over them.

OUTLOOK: The weak solar wind is not a surprise. Again, indications are that things will begin to pick up in a couple of days, which is also when the ground winds are supposed to subside.

OTHER: First, thanks to Brian Hall for hand-carrying the LEOS. In the photos section, you can see a picture of the LEOS with a very tired Brian amidst a jubilant crowd.

WEATHER: How bad is it? Have a look at the map in today's photos section.

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