As planned, attempts were made today to take samples of the contaminant from the gap between the shell and its reference.
- The first pass was made using shims with the shell resting on the reference. The gap was too tight and it was not possible to get much out of the gap.
- The second pass was then initiated: forces where applied on the whole mirror, as already done quite a few times over this recovery period, in order to open the gap at the periphery of the shell and ease the collection of some samples of the contaminant.
The good news is that suddenly the shell separated from the reference, at which time the application of forces on the shell was stopped and the shell secured. An unexpected, but much welcome, turn of events!
Next step is to remove (some use the word "drop" but it is a scary one!) the shell and look at the state of the various components. It will give us a first feeling of the extent of the damage. The operation requires a full AdSec-savvy crew on the mountain. It will be for early next week.
We won't list all the options we had on the table to force the shell to separate from the reference... Some of them were definitely scary ;)
If you wonder how a frosted AdSec looks like, here you are!
AdSec-DX frosted - Apr 14, 2013