Dale Andersen's Field Reports

Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 29 October 2021: Heading Back To Untersee Oasis

By Keith Cowing
Dale Andersen
October 29, 2021
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Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 29 October 2021: Heading Back To Untersee Oasis
Lake Untersee
Dale Andersen

Dale Andersen: While at Untersee Oasis, we will continue our studies of Lake Untersee and it’s stunningly beautiful and interesting ecosystem. This year we will again be diving beneath its thick, 3.5 m perennial ice-cover to make observations and collect samples to depths of ~30 m.

We also have with us DeepTrekker’s Revolution/Nav ROV (remotely operated vehicle) which will provide us with access to any area of the lake to its maximum depth (170 m, or ~560 ft) wherever we make a dive hole for it – the ROV has a 300 m tether, but keep in mind the lake is 6 km long and 3.5 km wide.

This year’s participants are from Canada, Russia and the US.

– RAS – Russian Academy of Sciences
– AARI – Arctic Antarctic Research Institute (St. Petersburg, Russia)
TAWANI Foundation
– TFF – Trottier Family Foundation
– ALCI – Antarctic Logistics Centre International

We’ve completed our 2 weeks of quarantine here in Cape Town, the final Covid-19 PCR test was negative, and the weather at the Novo ice-runway is forecast to be suitable for landing the IL-76TD-90VD aircraft that will take us to Antarctica. We depart Cape Town tomorrow at 0900 local, and will arrive at the Novo ice-runway at approximately 1230 (UTC). Time to get busy, back in a couple of months!

I am looking forward to having a mix of human and robotic capabilities for our work underwater again!

Recent reports for several previous research seasons prior to the hiatus due to the global pandemic

Dale Andersen’s Field Reports: December 2019
Dale Andersen’s Field Reports: November 2019
Dale Andersen’s Field Reports: October 2019
Dale Andersen’s Field Reports: January 2018
Dale Andersen’s Field Reports: February 2018
Dale Andersen’s Field Reports: December 2017
Dale Andersen’s Field Reports: November 2017

and this flashback to the 1990s

The McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Research Project Life in Extreme Environments; An Antarctic Field Journal by Dale Andersen

Keith Cowing: These updates in 1996 and 1997 were done directly by Dale Andersen while in Antarctica to a webserver in Keith Cowing’s condo in Reston, Virginia. As best we can tell this was one of the earliest – if not the first – website to be maintained from Antarctica.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.