Status Report

George James, Personal Journal – The Mars Society Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station – 9 Aug 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
August 9, 2001
Filed under , ,

I tried to get 8 hours of sleep but ended up with about 4 hours. However, I also had a shower and a great
lunch. The plane had to go in for maintenance so Eric and I were moved into the same room for another
night. We were offered ATV’s to go exploring with. We headed out to find the ice cave shown in Figure 1.
We experienced some of the artic environment and practiced our ATV skills. We also got to see some
interesting scenery. A lot of our trek covered loose rock. It was common to see rocks cleanly split
in half, probably by freeze/thaw cycles. We developed an immediate appreciation for that class of
vehicle for exploration in a remote area.

Figure 1. The Ice Cave near Resolute. The ground is covered with loose rock from the cut in the ridge
over which the ice formed. The area was noisy with falling pebbles, dripping water, and a small current
of slush down the side.

I also took the opportunity to go over with Eric some of the ideas I had to share development and
operational costs of a Mars mission. Since he has a degree in economics from Princeton and has been
working in this area for years, he was an excellent captive audience. I see this type of interaction
as one of the most useful from this expedition. That is the ability to focus one’s attention on the
issue of Martian exploration and infrastructure development without so many of the diversions of
contemporary life.

We made the best of being stuck in Resolute an extra day by having internet connections, telephones,
great meals, a shower, plenty of water, laundry, and real beds. I was also interested in Resolute Bay’s
utilities, goods, economy, and visitors. Resolute Bay could be considered an analog of a
terrestrial-supported Martian outpost. If it had the capability to perform some limited manufacturing
using local resources, it would be an analog of a Martian colony. Figure 2 shows the extent of the

Figure 2. The 200 person hamlet of Resolute Bay except for the airport and power plant off to the
upper left. Eric’s hand is blocking the view of the bay off to the left. Notice the loose rock which
covers most of the surface.

I contacted FedEx and found out that the remote station had passed through customs. However, no firm
delivery date could be set. If it doesn’t make the Saturday shipment, then it will not be here in time
for me to install it. I spent a little bit of time studying the installation instructions for the
remote station. Also, I put together a status for Mission Support at then end of the day. I consider
it critical to keep them informed since they will be intimately involved in bringing the remote
station on-line.

SpaceRef staff editor.