Haughton-Mars Project (HMP-2001 REPORT: 010701)

Status Report From: Haughton-Mars Project (HMP)
Posted: Sunday, July 1, 2001

By: Dr. Pascal Lee

Happy Canada Day!

Rain and fog in Resolute Bay, and still no way to fly in to Haughton Crater yet. A First Air Twin Otter returning to Resolute Bay from the Noranda Camp on Grinnell Peninsula in northern Devon Island took the long way home this morning and flew over our airstrip. Snow cover is down to 15% but there are now large puddles of meltwater. It's still too risky to land by airplane at Haughton and there seems to be no dry ground in sight. We have been actively exploring the possibility of borrowing a helicopter from the Noranda Camp in hopes of implementing the "Thomas Lee Inlet scenario", but chances of a helo being available tomorrow are low as we've been told in an e-mail message from Allan Huard this evening. Allan will nevertheless try his best to help us and we are planning to remain on standby all day tomorrow.

With Darlene's arrival yesterday evening, we were able to hold today a full meeting of the first crew that will occupy the FMARS this summer. Steve Braham, Sam Burbank, Charlie Cockell, Rainer Effenhauser, Darlene Lim, Frank Schubert and I met for 3.5 hours this afternoon in the dining hall of the Resolute Bay Coop Hotel to discuss details of our plan of action for Phase 1. We covered safety first, then the various tasks and procedures that will define our routine and our response to emergencies, then all the specific research objectives we have and the various exploration traverses we will go on. We are now planning a 6-day program running from July 4 through July 9, somewhat shorter than originally planned but preserving the essential elements of our initial program. We should be releasing a plan of our program within the next couple of days.

It can sometimes be a fine line between pushing too hard under the pressures of "go fever" and wanting to explore all options before resorting to wait. But safety remains paramount on our project and tonight we are all safe and spirits remain high. The best days of the Summer still lie ahead and the time to fly will come.

// end //

More status reports and news releases or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.

SpaceRef Newsletter