The pace picked up quite a bit once we shifted into full missions! Our last team members departed the ice December 17th, and now that everyone is either safely home or off gallivanting around New Zealand or Australia here’s a bit of a wrap up.
ARTEMIS performed well, with some missions covering distances in excess of ten kilometers. Brian was able to successfully track the vehicle with the magnetic beacon, ‘meeting’ ARTEMIS at prescribed locations topside to confirm the vehicle’s position estimating ability and refine inertial guidance. We also had our water sampler up and running and gathered topographic data with the sonar systems. Check out some videos and images on Peter’s blog to see what things looked like from ARTEMIS’ perspective. Oh, and I should mention not quite everyone is home just yet- ARTEMIS is still waiting for her ride back on the container ship come January – along with our samples!
This proved to be a very informative season, producing lots of scientific and engineering data that will continue to help elucidate not just the Antarctic environment, but eventually the processes and conditions of other worlds as well. Many thanks to NASA, the entirety of McMurdo Base, and support staff in both New Zealand and the US- none of our work would be possible without their support. We hope to have some preliminary analysis ready for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference this coming March- stay tuned!