Following the warm-up phase and prior to packing, SPIRou was the focus of several pre-shipping visits in the clean room of IRAP / OMP where it stayed for the last 15 months, since the beginning of its integration phase and until the end of the acceptance tests and review.
On Friday Dec 08th, Elisabeth Borredon (Déléguée Régionale à la Recherche et à la Technologie en Région Occitanie), Bertrand Monthubert (Conseiller Régional délégué à l’Enseignement supérieur et à la Recherche, Région Occitanie), Sébastien Nadot (Député Haute Garonne) and Pierre Cabaré (Député Haute Garonne), were greeted at IRAP / OMP by Christophe Giraud (Délégué Régional CNRS Midi-Pyrénées) and Philippe Louarn (director of IRAP). Following an overall presentation by JF Donati (PI) of the science programmes to be carried out with SPIRou and of the expected fallouts for the international SPIRou team, our visitors were offered a private visit of the instrument by Driss Kouach (PM) – with the open cryostat allowing them to get a close view of all optical components thanks to which SPIRou will unveil planetary systems around nearby red dwarfs and newly-born stars within close-by stellar nurseries.
Earlier in the same week, comic strip artist Jean-Yves Duhoo from the SPIROU magazine (and designer of the SPIRou logo, 2014 June: a new logo for SPIRou) visited IRAP / OMP to work on a new episode of the SPIRou adventures, following the initial one published a few years ago (2014 January: SPIROU appears in the SPIRou magazine). Last but not least, CNRS image mandated video artist Pascal Varambon to make a short documentary on SPIRou, who also came last week to shoot views of SPIRou prior to its packing and shipping to CFHT.
Following these visits, the SPIRou team at IRAP / OMP started to dismount the instrument and pack it. Stay tuned for more information on this phase!