Sea Ice Camp & Sunday Funday

When we left off, the team had just begun testing Sunfish under the sea ice. This past Saturday we had hoped to get one of the large sea ice access holes drilled out at our planned camp but unfortunately the cold weather has made for some uncooperative drilling machinery. Thwarted Saturday and again today, we’ll try a third time tomorrow. Once things are running again, we’ll start putting in the first pieces of camp and begin characterizing the currents and environment ahead of Artemis operations.

The first (and currently only) infrastructure out at our site- two portable Antarctic outhouses

The first (and currently only) infrastructure installed today at our site- two portable Antarctic outhouses towed behind trusty PistenBully 317.

Hopefully, our fish hut will follow soon, complete with an access hole courtesy of the drill at bottom right.

Hopefully, our fish hut will follow soon, complete with an access hole courtesy of the drill at bottom right.

We did get some time Sunday and went for a hike up Observation Hill, a quick trip that offers incredible views of town and Mount Erebus. Theres a pretty decent trail system around town that we’ll hopefully get a chance to see most of over the coming months.

Mount Erebus, a 3,794 meter tall (12,448 ft) active volcano, is rather photogenic.

Mount Erebus, a 3,794 meter tall (12,448 ft) active volcano, is rather photogenic. Slightly more so than the back of everyone’s head.

The view of McMurdo base from up on Observation Hill

The view of McMurdo base from up on Observation Hill, looking west over Hut Point.

2 responses to “Sea Ice Camp & Sunday Funday

  1. Hi, just a little curious regarding the equipment not being so compliant in the extreme weather. Are they currently trying to find equipment that might function better in such cold temperatures for you guys to utilize? During the explorations to Europa, is their going to be any plans on drilling the or just surface explorations?

    -Christina Olney (Central AZ Student)

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    • Yep, most equipment on Earth is not designed to operate at Antarctic temperatures, let alone Europa’s temperatures! We are working on designing equipment that can handle the environment though, and do hope to eventually explore beneath the ice shell in the ocean. For the next few decades though, we’ll be limited to orbital and, just maybe, surface exploration with a lander.

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