The theme for the day: Packing! Everything must be packed up and ready to go to the field. The team leaves for the field Wednesday, but everything must basically be packed up today so we can organize helo loads. We also needed to break down the Bot House tent and flooring system so that it can be sent to the helo pad for shipping. The energy and excitement for getting to the field is increasing!

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514shilpabobpacking.JPG

Bob and Shilpa check over their packing list!

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516chrisboxedin.JPG

Chris says he needs to start thinking outside the box!

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517coverdown.JPG

The outer tent cover, or blanket, came down much easier than it went up!

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518bobbillrollcover.JPG

Bob and Bill rolling up the tent cover.

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519kristoffinsulation.JPG

Kristoff is trying to look like the Tin Man!

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520petertentframe.JPG

Peter tried to escape out the roof, but luckily Bob was there to hold him back!

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521petertransant.JPG copy

Peter working with the TransAntarctic Mountains in the background.

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515enduarnceflight.JPG

ENDURANCE has swapped its wheels for skis and has earned its "wings" - or fins as they are actually called! The fins attached to the sled will allow ENDURANCE to fly straight and without spinning during the sling load (dangling under the helicopter) flight to Lake Bonney!

On another note:

Last night, Peter and Bill, hosted the "Sunday Night Lecture." Every Sunday and Wednesday evening in McMurdo is a "science lecture" night. This is where different researchers in McMurdo share with the rest of the community what their research project is all about. I have attended some great lectures! I have listened to Dr. Stacy Kim present about her ASPIRE project which looks into the effects of human activity in McMurdo on the surrounding marine benthos ecosystem. I attended the presentation by Doug Allen, Neil, and Hugh from the BBC (they are the producers and video film crew for Blue Planet and Planet Earth) who are here filming for the next installment of the series - currently called "Life." There are amazing projects going on; it is wonderful to rub elbows with so many amazing people. Last night was Peter and Bill's turn; they had a wonderful presentation! This ENDURANCE project is truly remarkable. Not only for the research it will be immediately conducting this field season, but for the implications for future projects. This robot is a prototype for possibilities of exploring other planets for signs of life. They talked quite a bit about the future plans to explore Europa - a moon of Jupiter and the technology that would be needed. The technology that is currently on ENDURANCE can be used to assist with such a project.

senote Zacaton
senote Zacaton

Image: Stone Aerospace The Deepest Hydrothermal spring: Cenote Zacaton

Check out the type of mapping that can be done using the latest technology! ENDURANCE maps will be made slightly differently, but the idea is similar!

You can also check out my journals and pictures from previous seasons at: http://www.ryejrhigh.org/ellwood

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