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Haughton-Mars Project (HMP-2001 REPORT: 010629)

Status Report From: Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)
Posted: Friday, June 29, 2001

By: Dr. Pascal Lee

The past few days have seen beautiful weather in Resolute Bay, with deep blue skies and almost uninterrupted sunshine. Winds have been slight. If only we were on Devon...

There is still too much snow on Devon Island for us to "put-in" by Twin Otter airplane, but the situation is now improving rapidly. On Wednesday reports from pilots flying over our airstrip indicated that the snow cover was down to 50%. Today, Friday, we were down to 25%. We are now planning to attempt a direct fly-in on Sunday morning, the earliest option in the opinion of First Air pilots who know the Arctic well. The first plane would fly in light, with just a few passengers equipped with shovels to sweep off any remaining snow and get the Base Camp and FMARS going. Later that same day, more planes would fly in with the rest of our team, more camp gear and supplies. At least that's the plan. The helicopter we had considered using a few days ago is not available at this time, as it was also much delayed on its way up to Resolute and is now mobilized for its primary mission at the Noranda camp on northern Devon.

Our team in Resolute Bay this evening comprises Joe Amarualik, Steve Braham, Sam Burbank, Charlie Cockell, Rainer Effenhauser, Trish Garner, AC Hitch, Colleen Lenahan, Samson Ootoovak, Gordon "Oz" Osinski, Matthew Pudluk, Frank Schubert, Andy Schuerger, John Schutt, Mark Webb, the Discovery Channel crew of 8, and me.

Rainer Effenhauser M.D., is the Chief Flight Surgeon of the Space Shuttle program at NASA JSC. He joined us in Resolute Bay late last night after an unanticipated night in Yellowknife where the "west jet" was delayed by 24 hours due to bad weather. Rainer is participating in the NASA HMP for a second year in a row. He will be carrying out a variety of studies in expeditionary medicine, telemedicine, environmental monitoring, and human biology, all of which is of interest to NASA for the current International Space Station program and for planning possible future human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit. Rainer will be our Medical Officer on the first FMARS crew rotation this year. He gave us all a good medical briefing after dinner this evening, just before another good briefing from Steve and Trish on the use of our new HMP field safety radio system.

One good thing about the snow delay is that it's giving us some time to hold a few more field planning meetings.

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