F L A S H U P D A T E ! ! !
There will be one more attempt tonight – USST is setting up again right now.
Safety is now a concern. People know that this ribbon might break. USST knows that if this happens, it may damage their climber, perhaps irrepairibly. Nevertheless, they’ve decided to go for it – and who can blame them. They’ve been working for this prize for, literally, years, and it would be a shame to have to turn back now.
Special procedures are being put into place to minimize the amount of personnel near the ribbon while setting up for this run.
There is obviously something wrong with this ribbon or the conditions here have been too much for it. It’s too early to know what happened – obviously Spaceward will be sending the ribbon back to Siegling for a failure analysis. You’ll note that, in addition to the break, there is fraying along the edges. Perhaps this indicates where maximum stress was being applied (during the ribbons constant twisting in the wind) and is the cause of the break. But that’s for the engineers to decipher.
So, no promises for a successful climb, or even a climb at all, but another attempt is being made.
I’ll keep everyone posted.