Analog Studies

Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 23 November 2017: High Winds

By Keith Cowing
Dale Andersen
November 23, 2017
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Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 23 November 2017: High Winds
Dale Andersen's location on the shore of Lake Untersee, Antarctica.

Dale Andersen sent this message on 23 November 2017 at 4:08:18 AM EST: “Yesterday started very nicely with sunshine and little or no winds so the morning hours were pretty productive. But by noon, katabatics let loose a barrage of winds and blowing snow that shut us down for most activities in the afternoon.”

“Denis Lacelle, Benoit Faucher and Georgii Shamilishvialiy worked in the adjacent dry valley but had to call it quits after the high winds and blowing snow made work too difficult for them. In the afternoon I kept the hole melter fueled up but for me that was about it for the day outside, although Elliot Steel and I pulled the melting coil last night about 8pm. It looks like the hole diameter is good for diving now so perhaps tomorrow I will make the first dive this season.

Today we will chip out the 10 cm thick “lid” of ice that currently covers the hole (a result of how we melt the hole) and will carve a seat in the ice that is closer to the water level making entry and exit a bit easier. Once we have the top cover of ice removed I can also decide if the hold diameter is appropriate and if needed we can melt a bit longer. It was breezy earlier this morning but during the last hour the winds have calmed so its time to get to work!”

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻