Image: 'Men in Black', the official photographs from AMASE 2009. Since 2003 AMASE has introduced a tradition: every year all participants have to dress as 'Men in Black' and for the official pictures. One of the pictures this year has been taken aboard the Lance, our ship, close to Ny-Alesund during the last day of the expedition. Picture credit: Kjell Ove Storvik.
Image: Field trips: How to select a suitable spot for testing instruments in a Martian analogue environment. Picture credit: Kjell Ove Storvik.
Juan Diego Rodriguez Blanco: How can we be sure that instruments that will be sent on future Martian missions will work properly? How do we know that they will obtain accurate and precise measurements? How will we be able to compare the data to what we have seen on our planet? The answer is easy: by testing, testing and again testing them during field trips on Earth. This has been one of the most important goals of AMASE 2009.
Monaco glacier. Credit: Storvik/AMASE.
Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco (AMASE team): One of the 'fun science" activities we have carried out during AMASE 2009 is "iceberg chasing". Naturally this was all for a good scientific reason as we were interested in acquiring sediments trapped in calved icebergs for further characterization. Being in the arctic and around massive ice caps and glaciers it is no surprise that during the time we have been based on Lance we have seen tens of icebergs per day. Some of them are mostly made of blue ice but they sometimes also have layers of sediments and these are the interesting ones!
AMASE 2009: Journal Entries by Adrienne Kish 17-25 August 2009
Before we get into the blogs, you may have noticed that we were unable to post everyday while we were aboard Lance. Loss of internet contact is part of an arctic expedition, and we were not able to get the posts out until now that we are off the ship. We may be rocket scientists, but there are things that even this group can't do! So, with apologies for the belatedness of these posts, please enjoy sharing in the last of the adventures of AMASE '09!
Image: The Athena rover, also known as Athena, taking a picture using the Microscopic Imager located in its robotic arm. Credit: Paulo Younse (NASA/JPL)
Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco (AMASE team): During the last decade of Martian exploration the research focus has primarily been on the search for liquid water, both using orbiters (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) and landers (Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix lander). Obviously no liquid water can be found today on the Red Planet because the pressure of the Martian atmosphere is very low to permit water to exist on its surface. But from all the information sent from these orbiters and landers we know that liquid water existed on Mars millions of years ago.
Aug 13: AMASE reunited
The AMASE crews were united today thanks to several helicopter lifts from NyAlesund and some willing and able volunteers who established a tent camp on shore to free up enough rooms for all the NyAlesund personnel to move onto the ship. Props to go out to the helicopter pilot and mechanics who worked some serious magic getting all 7 of us and our gear safely onto the deck of the Lance before the weather closed in, safety being next to godliness on an expedition like this. We are all settling in to our new environment and will spend the day setting up labs here with all the equipment boxed up from the lab in NyAlesund. Once we have our labs up and running here along side the labs already in place on the Lance we will continue work on all our various projects.