Archives

Analog Studies: June 2006


"A four-person team departs today for an expedition to the top of the world, where mineral-rich waters seep from the top of a 200-meter-thick glacier. Sulfur-bearing compounds precipitate from the waters and stain the glacial ice of Borup Fiord Pass, marking the locations of the springs with bright yellow splotches that are easily visible from the air. The place calls to mind the ruddy, sulfur-rich stains on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, and one of the expedition members is traveling there to gather samples and data that will help with the planning of future Europa missions."

News story
Backgrounder
[Source: Planetary Society]

Keith: We are going to give it a try this morning, the weather looking a bit better. The conditions at Expedition appear somewhat wet so we will take the twin to a gravel strip at Strand Fiord and will then ferry our gear to our camp at Expedition Fiord by helicopter. If we cannot make it in, we will head to Eureka for a few days. I'll try to give you a ring via sat phone later if possible for an update. Our studies of the perennial springs, massive ground ice and pingos will begin shortly.

Keith: We arrived in Resolute Friday evening but we are still in here awaiting better weather. Its been cloudy with periods of light snow and rain along with low cloud and fog so getting north has been a bit problematic. But that is life in the fast lanes... We may try to get up to Eureka later today but I am not betting the farm.

Hard to believe that we started blogging from the McMurdo Dry Valleys in the Antarctic nearly ten years ago. I know that "blog" along with the images have been available online at your astrobiology website since.

The ISBOX-II expedition lead by Eric Gaidos of the University of Hawaii NAI team will drill and sample a subglacial lake for microbiology and geochemistry. The expedition takes place June 6-13, 2006. Details and progress of "ISBOX 2" can be found at: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/UHNAI/isbox2.htm [Source: NAI Newsletter]