- Status Report
- Dec 3, 2022
Keith Cowing’s Devon Island Journal – 17 July 2002 Greenhouse dedication, fishing, and mystery food
Lexan was the order of the day.
After cutting and installing the last of 9 separate pieces of Lexan on the aft end of the greenhouse, we turned our attention to the front. An aluminum door still needs to be installed.
True to form, the parts and instructions that came with the greenhouse from the manufacturer were not what they should have been. We had anticipated this based on our experience in California and had enough spare material on hand. A.C. Hitch, our expert arctic carpenter, was able to fashion all of the parts we needed. We soon had a door installed.
The Lexan installation on the front was a much simpler matter to install than the small pieces we had to make for the aft end. Two large sheets – one on either side of the door – needed a simple field cut and some touch up cuts. A small sheet atop the door and we were done. The weather was stunningly nice making the process very pleasant. This could have been a dismal task had it been cold and raining.
As we had already learned repeatedly, you need to be able to adapt to both expected – and unexpected contingencies in the arctic. So was the case with the final pieces of Lexan. We had planned ahead for this specific contingency – and had enough Lexan to make the custom panels – with some to spare for future patching.
At last, after all these months of work – both here and back in the U.S., and we had a functional greenhouse! A step inside transported one to another climate. Even with overcast skies this greenhouse pumped itself up with heat. On a sunny day, like today, it did so with amazing speed. At one point it reached 42.5C (107F) inside. Working in there was actually difficult due to the heat.
This was to be a cause for celebration. After dinner we would all gather in the greenhouse for a short dedication ceremony.
Quicktime panorama: View from atop Maynard Hill 22 July 2002. 270 degree pan. R-L: Haughton Crater, The Fortress, Base Camp, Tent City, windsock and webcam. [Download]
Ginger Howell, our camp cook, and Joe Amarualik, our local guide and Deputy Base Camp Manager did some fishing today. They brought back several arctic char for dinner. Often known as the “northern cousin” of the salmon, I, a true salmon aficionado, looked forward to dinner. True to form, the dogs (especially Quimmiq) took particular interest in the fish. Alas, the dogs were destined to get no char. Everyone managed to get a small piece. It was a welcome departure from the standard fare – albeit very good food – that we had been eating.
Quicktime panorama: Center of Base Camp 19 July 2002. 360 degree pan. R-L: Office Tent, Mess Tent, webcam, Comm Tent, Argo ATV, Tool Tent, The Fortress, Airstrip, Greenhouse, Tent City [Download]
After dinner everyone from Base Camp met in the greenhouse for a dedication. I led the brief ceremonies by reading from an email HMP Principal Investigator Pascal Lee had sent to Marc Boucher and I. I added that we all saw the purpose of this greenhouse as being to help develop technology required to one day support humans on the surface of Mars – an ideal all HMP participants aspire to.
With that we all toasted the occasion with some sake Marc had purchased in Japan – as well as some Scotch that suddenly appeared courtesy of a participant in last year’s field season.
We also participated in the opening of the “Mystery Can”. Over the years, a stockpile of food has accumulated at Base Camp – one which is left here when the season is completed. After several years, the labels have come off of some of the cans. As the contest progressed, everyone had a chance to shake and hold the large can so as to elicit some potential clues as to its contents.
Ginger then proceeded to open the can. However, this did little to resolve the mystery: it was full of a yellow fluid. Biologist Charles Cockell, from the British Antarctic Survey, bravely stuck his finger in, tasted the fluid, and, with just a moment’s hesitation, proclaimed it to be “Yams”.
We all decided to trust Charlie’s judgment and not try and confirm the identity of the contents.
- NASA Haughton-Mars Project
- SpaceRef Mars on Earth coverage
- Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse
- 17 Jun 2003: Preface: Moving from Green to Grey
- 3 Jul 2003: Waiting in Resolute
- 3-5 July 2003: Arrival and Getting to Work
- 6 July 2003:Getting in the Groove
- 7 July 2003: Part 1: Being here – and being there.
- 7 July 2003: Part 2: Getting Out of Base Camp
- 8 July 2003: Infrastructure
- 9 July 2003: Re-connected; Planting Seeds
- 17 July 2003: Rover Arrival
- 18 July 2003: Wind
- 19 July 2003: Illness, Good Food, and Morale
- 20 July 2003: Arctic Memorials and Starship Yearnings
- 20 July 2003: Going Home
- 21 July 2003: Departure – and One Last Dedication
- 24 July 2003: 24 July 2003: Homeward Bound – In Slow Motion
- 26 August 2003: Home +30
- 8 Jul 2002: Arrival
- 9 Jul 2002: Getting acquainted – and down to work
- 10 Jul 2002: Mars carpentry
- 11 Jul 2002: Lexan Kites, shotguns, and Driver’s Ed
- 12 Jul 2002: Building and exploring
- 13-15 Jul 2002: Building a Mars greenhouse on Earth
- 16 Jul 2002: Sealing Greenhouses on Earth – and Mars; 6 Wheeled Rovers
- 17 Jul 2002: Greenhouse Dedication, Fishing, and Mystery Food
- 18 Jul 2002: Giving Blood, Eternal Light, and an Evening Commute
- 19 Jul 2002: The Hottest Place on Devon Island, T-shirts, a Star Trek hello
- 20 Jul 2002: Mars Airplanes and Communicating With Earth
- 21 Jul 2002: Visiting ministers, missing ‘green’, and crater tours
- 22 Jul 2002: The hottest place on Devon Island
- 23 Jul 2002: Farewells, Birthdays, and Bartering
- 24 Jul 2002: EVAs, movies – and ‘being here’
- 25 Jul 2002: Russian TV, webcam privacy, and being on Mars for a few minutes
- 26 Jul 2002: Cold Feet, Chocolate, and Home Cooking
- 27 Jul 2002: Anchors and anemometers
- 28 Jul 2002: Drilling into permafrost; leaving footprints for eternity
- 29 Jul 2002: Showering near the North Pole; one last look around
- 30 Jul 2002: Departure and arrival
- 31 Jul 2002: Culture shock and flight delays
- 1 Aug 2002: Departure into darkness
- 2 Aug 2002: Green overdose; home at last
- 2 Sep 2002: Home +30