Status Report

Haughton-Mars Project (HMP-2001 REPORT: 010706)

By SpaceRef Editor
July 6, 2001
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By: Dr. Pascal Lee

Conditions in the field remain “unseasonably” cold and wet, but the NASA HMP Base Camp is now set up and the Mars Society FMARS interior buildout is essentially completed. All present in the field contributed many long hours to achieving these two key goals on short order. At this time, we anticipate that after one more morning of preparations and cleanup tomorrow (July 7) the first FMARS crew of the 2001 field season will be set to begin “sim” (simulation).

Phase 1 will be short but nevertheless important in that it will be establishing a baseline of operations and procedures from which other variants will evolve throughout the field season. This phase is currently slated to last until July 10, with no less than 5 exploration EVAs scheduled over 3 days. Each crew member is expected to EVA at least once. Areas near Haughton Crater that have so far remained little explored will be among the sites targeted. It is our hope that our explorations will contribute not only to furthering our scientific understanding of the Earth and Mars, but also to enabling humans to be effective explorers on the Red Planet.

Over the past two days we’ve seen the departures of Lou Friedman of the Planetary Society and of Chad Terr of Infosat. Both helped make our early days at Haughton this year very exciting and enjoyable. As we prepare to begin our science and exploration research programs in earnest, we are also welcoming at camp several new arrivals: Matthew Pudluk and Jeffrey Kheraj, high school students from Resolute Bay, are being hired as field assistants. They arrived yesterday along with Robin White who is producing a program for NPR. This evening, the “Discovery Channel” team accompanying Andy Liebman from Resolute Films, the first wave of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute “Hyperion” sun-synchronous robot rover team led by David Wettergreen, and the “Discovery Canada” crew from Green Lion Productions also arrived.

There is a sense of excitement in the air tonight. We are off to a new experience tomorrow.

SpaceRef staff editor.