Status Report

Keith Cowing’s Devon Island Journal 17 July 2003: Rover Arrival

By SpaceRef Editor
October 13, 2003
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Click on Image for larger view. Images Copyright
NASA HMP-2003/SpaceRef

HMP image

Mars-1 Humvee moments after arrival at Base Camp after a traverse of Devon Island.
HMP image

Keith standing next to the SpaceRef-sponsored Mars-1 Humvee – after a good washing.

Today is the day. After a traverse across Devon Island The HMP’s Mars-1 Humvee rover is due to arrive in Base Camp later today. Earlier this season the rover was driven across the sea ice from Resolute Bay to Point McBain on the southern coast of Devon Island. Several days ago, a team of four departed HMP Base Camp to drive the rover back to Base Camp.

We have been listening to radio traffic for several days from the team as they made their way across the island. This evening we got a call which pointed to an arrival around 10:00 PM or so. Around 10:15 we got a call that the rover was passing a landmark we can see from Base Camp. After looking in vain for a bit the rover appeared over a small rise in the northwest. I began to videotape the rover as it ambled across the broad plain, von Braun Planitia, which lies north of us. I could just hear a strange rumbling and clanking noise in the distance.

After a few minutes the rover disappeared behind a hill as it made its last major turn to head directly toward Base Camp. A minute or so later it appeared above the horizon by the airstrip. leading the way was Joe on his ATV. The sound was decidedly louder now – and grew as the rover made the last turn the road. The sound the Rover struck me as being like what you’d expect to hear if three or four guys in armor were being rolled down a rock slope.

Pascal was at the wheel as the rover pulled into camp and backed into its parking place. Covered with mud, it was clear that the traverse had not been without some challenges. After the long path the Rover took – from the U.S., to Resolute, across the sea ice, and then across Devon Island, it was great to see it here at last.

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