Haughton-Mars Project

2009 Northwest Passage Drive Expedition



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August 18, 2010

HMP 2010: All have made it home!

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(Copyright 2010 Mars Institute

We are all grateful for the airlift support of the Air National Guard's 102d Rescue Squadron, part of the 106th Rescue Wing based out of Long Island, NY. We'd like to thank in particular Col. Robert Landsiedel and his crew for their support and patience in Resolute Bay as they waited for the HMP-2010 field team to pull out in its entirety. We overnighted in Vancouver then went on to Moffett Field, CA. By now everyone has made it all the way home!

Please keep following MarsOnEarth.org for more updates, science reports, photos and videos in the next several days.

Pictured: (LtoR front): Elaine Walker (E/PO, HMP, Mars Institute), Jesse Weaver (technician), Valerie Meyers, Ph.D. (NASA JSC), Alex Whitworth (Explorer, Captain of the Berrimilla II), Lauren Artman (CSA), Parna Niksirat (SFU), Dr Pascal Lee, Director of HMP (NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute) & Ping Pong (Pascal's dog), Kira Lorber (Mars Institute, HMP Logistics Manager), 3 Herc crew members (LtoR) back: Dr Matthew Deans (NASA Ames), Dr Stephen Braham (Chief Field Engineer and Associate Director, HMP / SFU), Vik Kumar (SFU), Isaiah Mandryk (UBC), Col. Robert Landsiedel, Jeff Fagan (chef), Herc crew member, John Schutt (Camp Manager), 3 Herc crew members & Kyle Hruz (Herc Co-Pilot), Travis Oaks (technician), Brenden (Herc Load Master).

August 16, 2010

HMP 2010: Four More Arrive in Resolute, Pascal/PingPong/Steve Coming Soon!

Dr Stephen Braham (Chief Field Engineer and Associate Director, HMP / SFU), Dr Pascal Lee, Director of HMP (NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute) and his dog, Ping Pong, are the only ones left on Devon and should be flying out very soon! The rest of Dr Braham's crew, Isaiah Mandryk (UBC) and Vik Kumar (SFU), have just arrived, along with Jesse Weaver and Travis Oaks (technicians). We hope to see the remaining three shortly and all leave for Vancouver on the Hercules C-130 just after lunch.

UPDATE: We all made it to Vancouver and are staying at the Marriott!

August 15, 2010

HMP 2010: Seven More Arrive in Resolute Bay

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Copyright 2010 Mars Institute
Seven more have finally arrived at Resolute Bay from Devon Island! Departing Devon Island were Parna Niksirat (SFU), John Schutt (camp manager), Jeff Fagan (camp chef), Saalia and Terry Pijaimini (both from Grise Fiord), Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord) and Alex Whitworth (the first person to sail around the world by including the Northwest Passage)! They have joined Lauren Artman (CSA), Valerie Meyers, Ph.D. (NASA JSC), Dr Matthew Deans (NASA Ames) Kira Lorber (Mars Institute, HMP Logistics Manager) and [yours truly] Elaine Walker (E/PO, HMP, Mars Institute) in Resolute Bay.

We hope to see remaining six get to Resolute from Devon Island in the morning -- Jesse Weaver and Travis Oaks (both technicians), Dr Pascal Lee, Director of HMP (NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute), Dr Stephen Braham (Chief Field Engineer and Associate Director, HMP / SFU) and the remainig two on his team, Vik Kumar (SFU), Isaiah Mandryk (UBC). If all goes well, all will board the Hercules C-130 and overnight in Vancouver before flying to Moffett Field on the 17.

The seven who have just arrived are showering, eating and resting. We will get a group photo once they're feeling refreshed!

August 13, 2010

HMP 2010: Hercules C-130 Arrived in Resolute Bay

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Kira Lorber (Mars Institute, HMP Logistics Manager) and Hercules C-130
Copyright 2010 Mars Institute
The Hercules C-130 aircraft has arrived at Polar Shelf in Resolute Bay. Kira Lorber (Mars Institute, HMP Logistics Manager), Dr Matthew Deans (NASA Ames), Valerie Meyers, Ph.D. (NASA JSC), Lauren Artman (general ecologist, CSA) and [yours truly] Elaine Walker (E/PO, HMP, Mars Institute) are waiting patiently in Resolute Bay. We are waiting for the rest of the HMP participants to arrive from Devon Island. Weather has not been cooperative thus far. Once the rest of the HMP crew arrives, all will board the C-130 to Moffett Field. We hope to arrive in Moffett Field on the 15th. However, that is a big IF until the weather on Devon Island changes for the better. [I have just added that last sentence-EW]

August 11, 2010

HMP 2010: HMP Field Season Wrapping Up

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Copyright 2010 Mars Institute
This HMP field season is wrapping up nicely and the size of the camp is shrinking as we near the end of the season. Dr Pascal Lee, Director of HMP (NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute) will be writing a final summary. As well, more videos, photos and science reports will be posted over the next several days, so please keep checking MarsOnEarth.org!

There are still 13 HMP participants at the Research Station on Devon Island including Pascal, John Schutt (camp manager), Jesse Weaver and his assistant, Travis Oaks (technicians), Jeff Fagen (camp chef), Ben Audlaluk, Terry Pijaimini and his sister, Saalia Pijaimini (all 3 from Grise Fiord), Dr Stephen Braham (Chief Field Engineer and Associate Director, HMP / SFU) and his team of 3, Isaiah Mandryk (UBC), Parna Niksirat and Vik Kumar (both of SFU). Steve and his crew are taking down and packing the communications gear while the rest pack up the camp for the Winter. Also at camp is Alex Whitworth, the first person to sail around the world by including the Northwest Passage. We are glad that Alex has made it this year since he did not manage to last year.

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Copyright 2010 Mars Institute
Valerie Meyers, Ph.D. (NASA JSC), Kira Lorber (Mars Institute, HMP Logistics Manager), Lauren Artman (CSA), [yours truly] Elaine Walker (E/PO, HMP, Mars Institute) and the K10 robot team including Dr Matthew Deans, Dr Trey Smith, Dr Hans Utz, Susan Lee, Vinh To and Eric Park (all of NASA Ames) are in Resolute Bay for two more nights. Peter Eckalook is also back in his home town of Resolute Bay and was greeted at Polar Shelf by his mother for a ride home via ATV.
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Copyright 2010 Mars Institute
Kelsey Young (Ph.D. candidate at ASU), Dr Steve Hoffman (NASA JSC), and Vicky Glass (captain / HMP safety officer) have made it to their destinations. Dr Perry Johnson-Green (CSA) and Byron Adams (Ph.D. candidate at ASU) have flown out of Resolute Bay and are en route home.

July 30, 2010

HMP 2010: Much of Camp Out In the Field Today

July 30 Flickr Photo Set

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Copyright 2010 Mars Institute

Much of the camp was out in the field today. The The K10 robot team led by Dr Matthew Dean (NASA Ames) set up networking at locale 9. Dr Perry Johnson-Green and Lauren Artman (both ecologists at CSA) had a short day out after breakfast and were back by mid afternoon. Kelsey Young and Byron Adams (both Ph.D. candidates at ASU) went to a new location in the Haughton impact structure. Dr Steve Hoffman (NASA JSC) spent a long day out in the field, assisted by [yours truly] Elaine Walker (E/PO, Mars Institute).

Star Amarualik flew back to Resolute Bay out today. She will be training as a canadian ranger. We wish her well!

July 29, 2010

HMP 2010: Some HMP Research Projects Wrapping Up

July 29 Flickr Photo Set

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photo credit: NASA/Mars Institute/Haughton-Mars Project
The CRUX drill team: Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student) and Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics) packed up at Drill Hill after another great season and will be flying out tomorrow.

Dr Steve Hoffman (NASA JSC) is making steady progress in the field. Today he was assisted by Vicky Glass (Fire Captain / HMP safety officer).

Dr Valerie Meyers (NASA JSC) continued with her medical immunology research with the help of willing HMP participants.

Dr Perry Johnson-Green and Lauren Artman (both ecologists at CSA) had a good day collecting and analyzing more samples.

Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier (both of Hamilton Sundstrand) finished with the last test subject, collecting feedback on the concept suit ports. They will be packing up this evening with the help of Jesse Weaver and Travis Oaks (camp technicians).

We had two very enjoyable lectures this evening, including the CRUX team who presented as a group, and the two men of Hamilton Sundstrand.

July 28, 2010

HMP 2010: The Peak of the HMP Season Continues

July 28 Flickr Photo Set

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photo credit: NASA/Mars Institute/Haughton-Mars Project
The NASA Ames K10 robot team, led by Dr Matthew Dean, uploaded data to NASA Ames and will get set up at a new location on Von Braun Planitia.

The Hamilton Sundstrand team, Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, had another day of extensive testing of their new concept suit ports on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover. Several more very willing HMP participants lent themselves as suit port subjects.

The CRUX drill team: Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student) and Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics) succeeded in their goals of detecting potential failure modes and taking corrective action. The team also succeeded in imaging the bore hole.

Dr Stephen Braham (Chief Field Engineer and Associate Director, HMP / SFU) has completed the setup of the dishes and got the C-band online, which will be tested with NASA Ames tomorrow.

Dr Steve Hoffman (NASA JSC) had a good day out in the field taking slope measurements until the fog and rain moved in.

Dr Perry Johnson-Green (plant ecologist, CSA) and Lauren Artman (general ecologist, CSA) had a great day collecting samples for their research and look forward to another full day tomorrow.

July 27, 2010

HMP 2010: The Peak of the HMP Season Continues

July 27 Flickr Photo Set

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photo credit: NASA/Mars Institute/Haughton-Mars Project
Dr Steve Hoffman (NASA JSC) had another day in the field with the support of Kelsey Young (Ph.D. candidate at ASU).

Dr Valerie Meyers (NASA JSC) is continuing her medical immunology research taking cortezol measurements from willing HMP participants.

The K10 robot team: Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz (all of NASA Ames) had a very successful day, and has pulled down the tent at their current location. They will be moving to the next one. Their team was supported by Jesse Weaver (camp technician) and his assistant, Travis Oaks.

Kelsey Young and Byron Adams (both Ph.D. candidates at ASU) traversed to Breccia Cliffs and made good progress with their research on the Haughton impact structure. Their traverse was supported by Ben Audlaluk from Grise Fiord.

Dr Perry Johnson-Green (planet ecologist, CSA) and Lauren Artman (general ecologist, CSA) completed 55 sample points today.

The Hamilton Sundstrand team, Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, continued testing the concept suit ports on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover. Several HMP participants lent themselves as suit port subjects as Ron and Todd are gathered valuable feedback.

Star Amarualik (from Resolute Bay) and Kira Lorber (Mars Institute, Logistics Manager) flew back to camp today, and Peter Eckalook (from Resolute Bay). Tiffany Montague (New Business Development Manager at Google) and Peter Eckalook (from Resolute Bay) will be with us one more day due to weather in Resolute.

July 26, 2010

HMP 2010: A Few New HMP Research Projects Get Underway

July 26 Flickr Photo Set

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photo credit: NASA/Mars Institute/Haughton-Mars Project
Dr Steve Hoffman (NASA JSC) conducted his first day in the field, taking pictures and measurements of slopes along a traverse that was planned from aerial photos. Supporting Dr Hoffman was [yours truly] Elaine Walker (E/PO, Mars Institute).

The Hamilton Sundstrand team, Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, began extensive testing of their new concept suit ports on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover.

Dr Perry Johnson-Green (planet ecologist, CSA) and his assistant, Lauren Artman (general ecologist, CSA), had a great day and took 40 of their sampling points. They have a few more busy days planned in the field.

July 25, 2010

HMP 2010: CRUX Team Meets Some Objectives

July 25 Flickr Photo Set

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photo credit: NASA/Mars Institute/Haughton-Mars Project
Dr Perry Johnson-Green and Lauren Artman (both ecologists at CSA) conducted research at the lake bed by the weather station in the Haughton impact structure. Their traverse was supported by Ben Audlaluk from Grise Fiord.

Dr Steve Hoffman (NASA Ames), Dr Pascal Lee (Director of HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute), Tiffany Montague (Google) and Jesse Weaver (technician) set up the Iridium Deep Field Data Transmitter at Constellation Hill, outside of the Haughton impact structure.

The CRUX drill automation team, Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student) and Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics), at Drill Hill, tested automated recovery from drilling faults for 3 of the 5 planned for this season, while reaching 1m depth on their first borehole. The control software and prototype drill is being proposed for a 2016 Discovery mission to the northern polar region of Mars. Another success today was the first operational field test of an extremely-compact and durable downhole imager, which returned images from several depths in the Haughton impact breccia.

July 24, 2010

HMP 2010: Several New Arrivals / HMP Activity Picks Up

July 24 Flickr Photo Set

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copyright 2010 Mars Institute
The CRUX (Construction Resource Utilization Explorer) Drill team, Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student) and Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics), went to drill hill after breakfast with more gear, with the help of Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord) and Peter Eckalook (from Resolute Bay). They got everything up and running with the Mars prototype drill and started drilling today!

The K10 team from NASA Ames, Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, led by Dr Matthew Dean, scouted the site B location and made some upgrades to prepare the robot for more follow up missions.

The Hamilton Sundstrand team, Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, finalized and assemble the suit ports and stairs on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover. They fitted the suit and stairs for the geologist, Kelsey Young, who will be conducting EVAs in the suit. Kelsey is a Ph.D. candidate at Arizona State University, in the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

There were several new arrivals today, including Kira Lorber of the Mars Institute. Kira is the HMP Logistics Manager for the Mars Institute and typically works out of Resolute Bay during the HMP seasons. She has just had her first meal at camp!

Two of Star's uncles, Paul Amarualik and Joe Amarualik (former HMP deputy base camp manager) flew in and stayed part of the day before departing again. Dr Brian Glass's sister, Vicky Glass, has arrived. She is a fire captain in Atlanta will be our safety officer this season and will working with Dr Valerie Meyers (NASA JSC) on her immunology study.

Other new arrivals were Dr Perry Johnson-Green and Lauren Artman, both ecologists from CSA, Steve Hoffman (NASA JSC), Tiffany Montague (Google), Dr Stephen Braham (Chief Field Engineer and Associate Director, HMP / SFU), and Stephen's assistants, Vik Kumar, Parna Niksirat and Isaiah Mandryk.

Nathan Kalluk and Star Amarualik flew back to their home town of Resolute Bay. We thank them for all of their hard work this season!

July 23, 2010

HMP 2010: K10 Team Analyzes Data / CRUX Team Begins Setup

July 23 Flickr Photo Set

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copyright 2010 Mars Institute
Today started out with low visibility and fairly strong winds. Some sun poked through the clouds in the afternoon and evening but it was rather windy and chilly throughout the day.

The K10 team from NASA Ames, Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, led by Dr Matthew Dean, finished up at locale 8 on Von Braun Planitia, sending back data from the instruments, including a gigapan camera, LiDAR, microscopic imager, ground penetrating radar and an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Byron Adams and Kelsey Young analyzed the data. They are both Ph.D. candidates at ASU in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. All of Dr Mark Helper's objectives for robotic follow up were met at locale 8. Dr Helper is a Distinguished Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin.

The CRUX Drill team, led by Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), transfered and positioned a load of gear to a location near the drill site in the morning, and went out again after dinner to set up the drill tent and other equipment.

July 22, 2010

HMP 2010: First K10 Robot Field Tests / Dr Brian Glass's 50th Birthday!

July 22 Flickr Photo Set

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photo credit: NASA/Mars Institute/Haughton-Mars Project
It snowed overnight and throughout the day, but there is a good chance of sunny weather over the weekend.

The K10 team from NASA Ames, Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, led by Dr Matthew Dean, drove the robot out to Von Braun Planitia. Thanks go to our camp chef, Jeff Fagen, for organizing lunch shifts for the K10 team so that they could work continuously.

The Hamilton Sundstrand team, Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, began installing the suit ports into the Mars-1 Humvee Rover. Thanks to Jesse Weaver and Travis Oaks (technicians) for helping.

After dinner, we celebrated Dr Brian Glass's 50th birthday! Dr Brian, from NASA Ames, was first involved with the HMP in 1998 and has not had a birthday at home since that year. Dr Brian's birthday has become somewhat of a mid-season ritual, which usually occurs at the peak of the season. He began work at HMP doing wireless communications for field science, and research with rovers, and in the last 5 or 6 years has focused on automated drills. This season he is continuing testing with the the CRUX (Construction Resource Utilization Explorer) Drill.

July 21, 2010

HMP 2010: Traverse to Wyle Hill and Other HMP Activities

July 21 Flickr Photo Set

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copyright 2010 Mars Institute

Today was overcast with no precipitation.

Byron Adams and Kelsey Young, both in the Geology Department at ASU, traversed to Wyle Hill above Trinity Lake and collected samples of impact breccia. This is research they are doing in addition to working with the K10 robot team.

The K10 team from NASA Ames, Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, led by Dr Matthew Dean, set up a repeater at location 8 on Von Braun Planitia and have their robot nearly ready for testing.

The CRUX (Construction Resource Utilization Explorer) Drill team, Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student) and Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics), successfully tested their communication systems, scouted for locations and picked out a drilling site.

Thanks to Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord) for supporting the traverses, and to Jesse Weaver (mechanic) and his assistant, Travis Oaks, for keeping the Kawasaki bikes in tip top shape.

Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier, both of Hamilton Sundstrand, have the two suit ports well underway. They will be installing them on the back of the Mars-1 Humvee Rover tomorrow.

July 20, 2010

HMP 2010: CRUX Drill Team Arrives, Greenhouse Team Departs

July 20 Flickr Photo Set

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copyright 2010 Mars Institute
The day started with marginal winds and low visibility, but cleared up after lunch. As we've hit the peak of the season, the HMP Core Team held a meeting after breakfast to insure that everything runs smoothly.

The K10 Robot team from NASA Ames, led by Dr Matthew Deans and including Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, tested instruments and components and traversed with the robot during a break in the weather. Kelsey Young and Byron Adams (both PhD students in the Geology Dept. at ASU) did traverse planning for this year's follow-up mission. The robot team will program the traverse coordinates into the robot accordingly.

The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse team, Matt Bamsey (CSA), Talal Abboud (CSA) and Thomas Graham (Univ. of Guelph) wrapped up and packed and will be monitoring the greenhouse remotely until next HMP season. They departed this evening, along with Drs Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul (both faculty at the University of Florida).

The rest of the CRUX drill team: Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames), Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames) and Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech, Ph.D. student), arrived on Devon Island this evening. They reunited with their fourth team member, Mateusz Szczesiak (Honeybee Robotics), who has been at the HMP Research Station running tests as part of his research for Honeybee.

July 19, 2010

HMP-2010: A Productive Day with Unfriendly Weather

July 19 Flickr Photo Set

HMP-2010: July 19
copyright 2010 Mars Institute
Regardless of mostly relentless rain, participants moved forward with their research.

The K10 Robot team from NASA Ames, led by Dr Matthew Deans and including Dr Trey Smith, Susan Lee, Vinh To, Eric Park and Dr Hans Utz, tested instruments and components and traversed with the robot during a break in the weather. Kelsey Young and Byron Adams (both PhD students in the Geology Dept. at ASU) did traverse planning for this year's follow-up mission. The robot team will program the traverse coordinates into the robot accordingly.

Ron Sidgreaves and Todd Glazier of Hamilton Sundstrand have almost completed the second suit and got started on the installation of two suit ports on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover; one for each back door. There will be some exciting research this season on this front.

This evening there were two lectures. The first was a dual talk by Drs Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul, both faculty at the University of Florida, in the area of space biology. It has been a very busy year for them, having flown life science experiments on various space missions. They have implemented a version of one of their experiments into the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse.

Sean Alexander (Kawasaki) talked about the diverse history of Kawasaki, and also learned about his own colorful history and wide range of talents.

July 18, 2010

HMP-2010: A Productive Day with Friendly Weather

July 18 Flickr Photo Set

HMP-2010: A Productive Day with Friendly Weather
photo credit: NASA/Mars Institute/Haughton-Mars Project
We had the usual 10:30AM Sunday brunch, which allows the cook and kitchen help to rest. As usual, John Schutt (HMP camp manager) was up early taking care of the camp.

After brunch, Drs Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul (both faculty at the University of Florida) along with Kelsey Young and Byron Adams (both in the Geology Dept. at ASU), went to Drill Hill, Gemini Hills and Planet of the Apes Valley to conduct research, and were back in time for dinner. Their traverse was supported by Ben Audlaluk from Grise Fiord.

The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse team will be in operational mode tonight, running a two day test of the system where they won't touch anything and just let it run. The two day operational mode will test the changes implemented this year as they get ready for their departure in a few days.

Continue reading "HMP-2010: A Productive Day with Friendly Weather" »

July 17, 2010

HMP-2010: Nearing Peak in HMP Camp Activity / Daily Updates Commence!

July 17 Flickr Photo Set

HMP-2010: Nearing Peak in HMP Camp Activity
photo credit: NASA/Mars Institute/Haughton-Mars Project
Two Twin Otter flights came in today with 10 participants total, including the K10 robot team lead by Dr Matthew Deans, supported by Dr Trey Smith, Dr Hans Utz, Susan Lee, Vinh To and Eric Park (all from NASA Ames), and Byron Adams and Kelsey Young (both from the Geology Dept. at Arizona State University). On the second flight was Peter Ikaluk from Resolute Bay and [yours truly] Elaine Walker (E/PO, Mars Institute).

The K10 robot team will be following up on work done during the 2010 field season by Dr Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute), Dr Mark Helper (Distinguished Senior Lecturer, University of Texas at Austin) and Dr Essam Heggy (Planetary Scientist, JPL). Last season they completed simulated lunar geological and geophysical traverses as part of their studies of robotic follow-up to human exploration, and of the efficiencies of pressured rover and EVA exploration.

Peter and Elaine's flight landed at HumVee Beach where the Moon-1 Humvee Rover and supporting vehicles are parked. Elaine took pictures and video of the site while Peter and the two Ken Borek pilots loaded all four of the Humvee Mattracks tracks onto the Twin Otter. They are quite heavy.

Continue reading "HMP-2010: Nearing Peak in HMP Camp Activity / Daily Updates Commence!" »

July 12, 2010

HMP-2010: Air National Guard Airlift Mission Accomplished

Resolute Bay, July 8 - The 102nd Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard (ANG) based on Long Island, NY, is providing critical airlift support to the Haughton-Mars Project this year. After a successful first flight in May to deploy the HMP's Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (a.k.a. NASA HMP-2010 Sea-Ice Traverse) team, and preposition critical supplies for the HMP-2010 summer campaign, a C-130 Hercules plane departed Long Island for Moffett Field, CA on 6 July, to begin this year's second airlift. After picking up NASA and Mars Institute cargo and personnel at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, the plane headed north to Vancouver on 7 July where it picked up additional HMP equipment and food supplies, and a few more HMP participants.


The 102nd Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard and Mars Institute Personel

Members of the ANG C-130 crew, including LtCol Ken Hohorst (far right), Commander of the airlift mission, HMP Director Dr Pascal Lee (below his dog Ping Pong), HMP Logistics Manager Kira Lorber (second from right), and NASA Johnson Space Center-Wyle Labs human physiology researcher Valerie Meyers (far left). (Photo Haughton-Mars Project/Pascal Lee)

Continue reading "HMP-2010: Air National Guard Airlift Mission Accomplished" »

July 7, 2010

HMP-2010 Put-in Successful

Resolute Bay, July 4 - Today, John W. Schutt (HMP Base Camp Manager), Jesse Weaver (HMP Lead Technician), Travis Oaks (HMP Assistant Technician), David Weaver (HMP Builder), and Nathan Kalluk (HMP Field Assistant) flew from Resolute Bay to the HMP Research Station on Devon Island to open up camp. Camp was found to be in good shape. Spirits are high. Dr Pascal Lee, HMP Director, is scheduled to arrive with additional team members on Thursday, 8 July, aboard a Air National Guard C-130 Hercules transport plane of the 102nd Rescue Wing based on Long Island, N.Y.

June 29, 2010

HMP-2010 Almost Here

A new field campaign is almost upon us. Preparations have been under way for some time and deployment of the core team followed by researchers to the HMP Research Station on Devon Island will begin soon. In the coming weeks we'll outline this years field deployment, what type of research will be undertaken and follow along. Stay tuned!

July 30, 2009

Productive HMP 2009 Field Season Wrapping Up

Photo Sets: HMP RS - July 25, 2009 | HMP RS - July 26, 2009 | HMP RS - July 27, 2009 | HMP RS - July 28, 2009 | HMP RS - July 29, 2009

Dr Pascal Lee and Dr Essam Heggy in Hamilton Sundstrand Concept Suits
Research activities are still going strong and taking advantage of a much wished for sunny day. This exciting and productive HMP field season will be wrapping up research activities in the next couple of days and shutting down operations over the next week. Filming of the Mars-1 Humvee Rover with a Hamilton Sundstrand suitport and Planetary Concept Suit continues today with National Geographic, and also a BBC crew who has arrived today. Both film crews have use of a helicopter today.

Following are updates from the last few days on just some of the research activities that are wrapping up soon. This may be the last written update since [yours truly] Elaine Walker, Education and Public Outreach officer for the Mars Institute, will be flying out on the 31st. There will be more video reports, so stay tuned, and we will be looking ahead to the 2010 HMP field season.

Mars-1 Humvee Rover SuitportNASA lunar geologic traverse simulations:

Dr Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute), Dr Mark Helper (Distinguished Senior Lecturer, University of Texas at Austin) and Dr Essam Heggy (Planetary Scientist, JPL) completed simulated lunar geological and geophysical traverses that are part of their studies of robotic follow-up to human exploration, and of the efficiencies of pressured rover and EVA exploration. During the final simulated EVA, Dr Heggy and Dr Lee successfully captured ground penetrating radar (GPR) images along a 50 m traverse at four different frequencies that span a Gigahertz range. The techniques employed resemble those that could be used for seismic surveys on the lunar surface. This final geophysical EVA traverse was preceded by a 24 hour rover traverse designed to collect (GPR) data while roving and, at specific sites, by EVA. Helper and Lee had earlier completed a similar traverse that focused on the geologic history of Haughton crater.

Continue reading "Productive HMP 2009 Field Season Wrapping Up" »

July 24, 2009

24 Hour Mars-1 Humvee Rover Traverse With Suitport and Many Other HMP Activities

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 24, 2009

Dr Pascal Lee and Space Suit HatchFive new arrivals flew in this morning, including Dr Alain Berinstain (Director, Planetary and Space Exploration Astronomy, CSA), Dr Mike Daly (Senior Engineer, MDA), Matthew Izawa (University of Western Ontario), Terry from Grise Fiord, and Michael Morrow and Jeff Thrasher from National Geographic, who will be filming HMP activities for the program Storm Worlds.

A 24 hour Mars-1 Humvee Rover traverse with the new suitport got underway this afternoon. The suitport was installed by the Hamilton Sundstrand team, Addy Overbeeke and Montira Satienpoch. Dr Mark Helper (Geologist, MMAMA) will be performing EVAs as an astronaut/field geologist who is unfamiliar with any prior work at Haughton crater, conducting a day-long traverse to learn as much as possible about the geology of the Haughton site. The traverse simulates, as closely as possible, the constraints of doing such work on the lunar surface, particularly in the times available for EVAs, for roving in a pressurized LER (Lunar Exploration Rover) and for doing field work in a space suit.

Also involved in the traverse planning and research this season is Dr Essam Heggy, a Planetary Scientist at JPL. Dr Heggy has brought some very high tech gear that will be used on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover traverses, including a Ground Penetrating Radar system and other instruments that can scan below the ground surface on different frequencies. Dr Stephen Braham (SFU / HMP Associate Director) spent the day supporting the Rover's communication needs, and the National Geographic team got some beautiful footage of the Rover and the "astronaut" EVAs.

Continue reading "24 Hour Mars-1 Humvee Rover Traverse With Suitport and Many Other HMP Activities" »

July 23, 2009

Daily Report: BBC, Space Suit and Simulated Air Lock, CRUX Drill

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 23, 2009

Addy Overbeeke and Montira Satienpoch
The Hamilton Sundstrand team, Addy Overbeeke and Montira Satienpoch, supported the BBC film crew, providing them with shots of Dr Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute) wearing the space suit. BBC also filmed the Mars-1 Humvee Rover with the space suit attached to the simulated airlock. Addy and Montira completed the resizing modifications for Dr Mark Helper (Geologist, MMAMA) who is 6'4", and finished the latching mechanisms for the simulated pressurized bulkhead door on the Rover.

Dr Stephen Braham (SFU / HMP Associate Director) is setting up a repeater to allow network communication with Drill Hill. The Drilling Automation team, Dr Brian Glass an Dr Sarah Thompson (both of NASA Ames), bore a hole 1.5 meters with the CRUX drill.

Continue reading "Daily Report: BBC, Space Suit and Simulated Air Lock, CRUX Drill" »

July 22, 2009

Daily Report: Rover Suit Hatch, CRUX Drill, Autonomous Robot

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 22, 2009

Addy Overbeeke and Space Suit Hatch
Five HMP participants departed on a twin otter flight today. We gave big thanks and said, "Until next time!" to Drs Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul (both faculty at the University of Florida), Tom Graham (Univ. of Guelph), Matt Bamsey (Univ. of Guelph / CSA) and Louis-Phillipe Durocher (Space System Engineer, CSA).

Jesse Weaver (field technician) prepared the Mars-1 Humvee Rover for the space suit team. Montira Satienpoch (Hamilton Sundstrand) sewed visors for the space suit helmet and Addy Overbeeke (Hamilton Sundstrand) is working on the space suit hatch on the back of the Rover. The space suit will be attached to the hatch in the same configuration as NASA's latest Lunar rover prototype.

Dr Essam Heggy (Planetary Scientist, JPL) and Dr Mark Helper (Geologist, MMAMA) started planning for the 24 hour traverse with simulated EVAs that will get underway tomorrow. Dr Helper is working with limited slope data to plan the traverses, having no inside scoop about actual terrain roughness collected last field season to add to the realism of the simulation.

Continue reading "Daily Report: Rover Suit Hatch, CRUX Drill, Autonomous Robot" »

July 21, 2009

Daily Report: NASA Pressurized Rover Analog Study Underway

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 21, 2009

New Arrivals
A twin otter arrived today with four new arrivals - Addy Overbeeke and Montira Satienpoch (both of Hamilton Sundstrand), Dr Mark Helper (University of Austin) and Dr Essam Heggy (Planetary Scientist, JPL). Addy and Montira will be attaching a spacesuit to the back of the Mars-1 Humvee Rover to mimic NASA's latest lunar rover prototype. Dr Helper and Dr Heggy will be involved in the Mars-1 Humvee traverses with the new spacesuit hatch.

Lots of activities are taking place simultaneously. Matt Bamsey (Univ. of Guelph / CSA) and Tom Graham (Univ. of Guelph) closed the greenhouse today and are preparing for their flight out tomorrow. Drs Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul (both faculty at the University of Florida) are also on their last day, and are packing up and preparing for their departure.

Continue reading "Daily Report: NASA Pressurized Rover Analog Study Underway" »

July 20, 2009

Daily Report: Apollo Anniversary Busiest Science Day So Far

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 20, 2009

Apollo 11 Anniversary Cake
A Lunar time delay was implemented in today's medical scenario. Dr Robert Ferl and Dr Anna-Lisa Paul, both faculty at the University of Florida, took part in this tricky medical scenario, saving the life of the high-tech robotic patient, in Lunar-delayed communications with the remote doctor. Dr David Musson (MD/PhD, McMaster Univ. CSA), Bosco Law and Matt Turnock (both MSc students at McMaster Univ.) and Marcel Pigeon (physician assistant, DND) stood by and observed. There were two additional medical scenarios today as well.

Today may have been the busiest day of the season so far. There was a whirlwind of activities. A few separate traverses took place. Two traverses were to Drill Hill, led by Dr Brian Glass and Dr Sarah Thompson (both from NASA Ames). Tommy Sulluviniq (Deputy Field Camp Manager, Resolute Bay) and Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord) helped to set up the drill tent. The drill was unpacked and set into place in the drill tent, ready for the second traverse after lunch when testing began. Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute) joined them to take some video and interview the scientists. The Drs went back to Drill Hill after lunch with Jesse Weaver (field technician) and Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord).

Continue reading "Daily Report: Apollo Anniversary Busiest Science Day So Far" »

July 19, 2009

Daily Report: Dr Brian Glass (NASA Ames) Arrives Along With Several Others

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 19, 2009

New Mars-1 Humvee Rover Decals
A twin otter flight came in this morning with several new participants. Research activities, namely NASA activities, will be ramping up in this third quarter of the season. Starting on the 20th, which is the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11, our HMP activities will get the prominent spot on NASA's Analog website!

We welcomed incoming HMP participants, Dr Tim Barfoot, Paul Furgale, Braden Stenning and Pat Carle (all from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies), Laura Thomson (University of Western Ontario) and Marwan Hussein (systems engineer, OPTECH). They will be working together on various aspects with a rover equipped with lidar and other capabilities.

Also arriving today was Dr Brian Glass (Senior Scientist, Drilling Automation, NASA Ames). He and Dr Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames) will be experimenting with the automated CRUX drill, to gain more knowledge in drilling automation for Mars exploration.

Continue reading "Daily Report: Dr Brian Glass (NASA Ames) Arrives Along With Several Others" »

July 18, 2009

Daily Report: CRUX drill, ACM Greenhouse, Telemedicine

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 18, 2009

Starla Talbot on Mars-1 Humvee RoverDr. Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames) supervised a traverse in the Mars-1 Humvee Rover to bring the CRUX drill and other equipment to Drill Hill. Along on the traverse to help position the drilling crate were Bosco Law (MSc Student in Health Research Methodology, McMaster Univ.), Jesse Weaver (field technician), Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord) and Tommy Sulluviniq (Resolute Bay).

Starla Talbot, field assistant for Dr. Stephen Braham (SFU / HMP Associate Director), swapped out an antenna on the Mars-1 Humvee Rover. Starla has also been helping Dr. Braham prepare the webcams that will be going up soon, assisting new HMP participants with their internet connections, along with other technical duties.

Greenhouse Solar PanelsA mock emergency medical scenario was conducted in the medical tent, led by David Musson (MD/PhD, McMaster Univ. / Director, Center for Simulation based learning, CSA). David observed while a remote doctor led [yours truly] Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute) and Jesse Weaver (field technician) through life saving procedures on Simm Man, the high tech robotic patient, who had a leg torn off in an accident.

Drs. Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul (faculty, University of Florida) finished the battery box for the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse, and Louis-Phillipe Durocher (Space System Engineer, CSA) took inventory. Matt Bamsey (CSA / Univ. of Guelph), with Anna-Lisa, gave a very thorough tour of the greenhouse systems this morning to several HMP participants.

Dan Green (assistant camp cook) gave an after dinner lecture titled Giordano Bruno: A Revolution in European Cosmology. His talk was informative and entertaining. Dan is not just an assistant cook. He has been accepted into the PhD program in Anthropology at Harvard University.

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 18, 2009

July 17, 2009

Daily Report: CRUX drill Arrived, ACM Greenhouse, Telemedicine

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 17, 2009

Unloading CRUX Drill from Twin Otter
There was a meeting of the HMP Core Team members this morning, planning ahead as we enter the third quarter of the season. The busiest times are fast approaching, and we look forward to a very productive next couple of weeks.

A twin otter flight came in today with the CRUX drill, fuel and propane. Research scientists from NASA Ames Research Center will be working with the automated CRUX drill over the remainder of the season, continuing to make advances in space-drilling technologies.

The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse team Matt Bamsey and Tom Graham, both from the University of Guelph, are wrapping up this season's work with the plant growth systems and connecting the new battery bank today. Drs. Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul, both faculty at University of Florida, planted the Fall tray with very specific soil samples they collected this season.

Medical Tent 3The medical team gave a few HMP participants a crash course in advanced skills with emergency medical scenarios using guidance from their remote chief instructors. This is part of their ongoing research in telemedicine. Yours truly got training! It was a unique experience with the realistic robotic patient used by McMaster's Centre for Simulation Based Learning, complete with audible breathing, a physical pulse and a bone protruding from an upper leg.

Today is saliva day! Many of the HMP participants this field season are taking part in a study by McMaster University student, Matt Turnock, about the correlation between stress and Cortisol levels. Thankfully, saliva day is only twice a week. Matt also gave an entertaining and informative talk this evening that he called "A Crash Course in Telemedicine and Hi Fidelity Patient Simulation."

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 17, 2009

July 16, 2009

Daily Report: Mars-1 Humvee Rover Radio, Traverse to Gemini Hills, Telemedicine

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 16, 2009

Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul
The HMP Research Station is busy with activities. Dr. Stephen Braham (SFU / HMP Associate Director), with the help of Starla Talbot (SFU / field assistant), got a radio working in the Mars-1 Humvee Rover with a 60 kilometer range each way. Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul, both faculty at the University of Florida, traversed to Gemini Hills to collect breccia, similar to the breccia used in one of last year's studies in the Arthur Clarke Mars Green house, in order to repeat the study. Chris Iles (Network Systems Integration, CRC) and Dr. Leo Hartman (Computer Scientist, CSA) finished installing and securing the battery bank for the greenhouse. Telemedicine mock scenarios are underway in the medical tent, complete with a very high tech mannequin.

After dinner, Leo Dr. Leo Hartman, a computer scientist with the System Engineering Directorate at CSA, Chris Iles with the Communications Research Center of Canada, and John Klatte, a technician with AM General, were awarded this season's HMP patches for their participation since they are flying out today.

John Klatte, Chris Iles, Dr. Leo Hartman and Marcel PigeonThe twin otter flight came in after dinner with two incoming participants. Tommy Sulliviniq (from Resolute) is returning, and medical officer, Marcel Pigeon (Department of National Defence, Canada), has arrived as well. Also on the flight was food, propane, diesel and clean laundry. We said goodbye to Leo, Chris and John.

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 16, 2009

July 15, 2009

Daily Report: Mars-1 Humvee Upgrades, Drill Hill Vertical Samples

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 15, 2009

Mars-1 Humvee Rover and Crew
John Klatte, a technician with AM General, and Jesse Weaver (HMP field technician), gave the Mars-1 Humvee Rover some upgrades, including heavy duty springs and new steering components. It was completed this evening! The Humvee was lifted with inflatable jacks from ARB. Our sincere thanks go to John Klatte for his skilled and efficient work.

Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul if the University of Florida, along with Louis-Phillipe Durocher (CSA) and Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord) traversed to Drill Hill this morning. Robert and Anna-Lisa took samples vertically at various depths, to see how different soil compositions affect plant growth.

Camp cook, Mike Langenhan, prepared a wonderful salmon dinner this evening with help from assistant cook, Dan Green. Dan is more than just an assistant cook. He has been accepted to Harvard for a PhD program in Anthropology. After dinner, Dr. Leo Hartman (Computer Scientist, System Engineering Directorate, CSA) gave a power point presentation in the mess tent titled: An Integrated Approach to Resource and Fault Management.

Tent ties are being strengthened in preparation for expected high winds this evening.

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 15, 2009

July 14, 2009

Daily Report: New Participants are Welcomed With Great Weather

New HMP participants fly to Devon Island

A twin otter flew in after dinner with new arrivals David Musson (MD/PhD, Director, Center for Simulation based learning, CSA), Bosco Law (MSC Student in Health Research Methodology) and [yours truly] Elaine Walker, Education and Public Outreach Officer for the HMP. Now that Elaine is here, daily updates will commence for the remainder of the HMP season.

HMP Research activities are well underway and the participants are taking full advantage of the beautiful, sunny and relatively warm weather.

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 14, 2009

June 28, 2009

HMP-2009 Air National Guard Flight to Resolute Bay

Air National Guard C-130 at YVR
Yesterday an Air National Guard C-130 out of Long Island, New York left the Vancouver international airport after being loaded with gear and personnel for a flight to Resolute Bay in the Canadian high arctic. Personnel aboard included core HMP participants from the Mars Institute and Simon Fraser University.

This is the second year we've had support from the Air National Guard out of Long Island, New York. It is always much appreciated. We'll have more pictures with credits once we get them from Resolute. The support of the Air National Guard enables us to deploy cargo and people in a timely and cost effective way.

Today HMP personnel are busy organizing cargo for the first flight to the HMP Research Station on Devon Island tomorrow. Weather being what it is in the high arctic, all flights are subject to the weather and conditions on the ground at the HMP airstrip.

- Images from cargo loading at the Vancouver International Airport.

June 22, 2009

HMP-2009 Field Season Preparations Underway

The 2009 HMP field season is almost upon us. This Saturday, June 27, the first participants from the Mars Institute core team will make their from Vancouver to Resolute Bay by way of an Air National Guard C-130 from the Long Island Air National Guard Rescue Unit.

This year will see over 50 participants from 11 organizations visiting the HMP Research Station on Devon Island including representatives from the Canadian Space Agency and NASA.

We'll have more detail on the field season in the coming week.

August 22, 2008

HMP 2008 Field Season at an End

If all goes well today the last of the HMP 2008 participants will leave Resolute today headed south to their various homes. It's been our longest and best field season ever with an incredible amount of research conducted in a short time. We still have many reports and images to post so keep coming by for a visit.

As one field season comes to an end, the cycle will begin shortly to prepare for next year. In the meantime there are a loose ends that need completing.

Thank you for tuning in to our activities. More to come.

August 13, 2008

Webcams to go Offline Friday, August 15

We are in the last few days of the HMP 2008 field campaign and will soon be making preparations to close camp. This will include the webcams going offline sometime on Friday, August 15th.

It should be noted that we've created a time lapse movie for each day for all three webcams during the field campaign. They are archived and available from our YouTube channel. Here are the individual links to each webcam playlist;

August 11, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

More Snow at the HMP Research Station
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
A twin otter arrived in the afternoon bringing Ben Audlaluk, from Grise Fiord, who has returned to help at the HMP Research Station as a field guide. Flying out today was Horton Newsom (Institute of Meteorites, UNM), Prof. Charlie Mason (Morehead State University) and his students, Megan Ennis and Bill Atwood, Andrew Abercromby (Project Engineer, EVA Physiology Systems and Performance Project / NASA Johnson Space Center), Kevin Coley (freelance photographer), Ian Daly (Senior Writer, Details Magazine) and Chris Ostafew (Mars Institute).

This afternoon saw snow, and lots of it! By dinner the HMP Research Station was blanketed. It was very pretty, but not be conducive to traversing or Moon and Mars video imagery. Thankfully it started melting in the late evening. However, some very thick fog rolled in. Due to the snow, not many participants ventured away from camp, however, meetings and research continued at the Research Station. The season will still be in full swing until the afternoon of the 15th.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

HMP2008: Dr. Stephen Braham and Dr. Brian Glass Talk To ISU Students from HMP RS

Dr. Stephen Braham and Dr. Brian Glass Talk To ISU Students from HMP RS
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
On Friday 25 July, Dr. Stephen Braham (SFU / HMP Associate Director) and Dr. Brian Glass (NASA Ames) anchored the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) end of a one-hour interactive video conference with students at the International Space University (ISU) summer campus in Barcelona, Spain. Stephen and Brian talked about their current and past projects with the HMP, and answered a couple of questions.This marked the third consecutive year of HMP-ISU interaction. Last year's was in Beijing and was held at 3am CDT. Former HMP flight surgeon and researcher Dr. Jeff Jones led the ISU contingent in Spain.
Stephen Braham and Brian Glass Talk To ISU Students from HMP RS
copyright 2008 Mars Institute

HMP2008: DAME Project

Dr. Brian Glass (NASA Ames), the principal investigator for the Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project, and his team: Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Sarah Huffman (NASA Ames) Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech) and Joanna Cohen (Honeybee Robotics) had a successful 2008 field season on Devon Island at the Haughton-Mars Research Station, Devon Island, High Arctic.

August 10, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Dr. Horton Newsom
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
Dr. Horton Newsom (Institute of Meteorites, UNM) took some samples and measurements near the HMP research station. Charlie Mason and Prof. Charlie Mason (Morehead State University) and his students, Megan Ennis and Bill Atwood, did more mapping near the HMP research station. Both parties did a (rather soggy) video interview with Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute) out in the field.

Andrew Abercromby (Project Engineer, EVA Physiology Systems and Performance Project / NASA Johnson Space Center) did a video interview for Film Director, Laurent Lichtenstein. Laurent is interviewing several participants for a documentary he is working on with Dr. Charles Frankel (author, planetary geologist).

Brian Glass (NASA Ames) took his final gravity measurements near the HMP Research Station to use as baseline measurements for calibration. He has cleaned and packed away the gravity instrument.

August 9, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Marcelo Vazquez in the Hamilton Sundstrand Suit
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
A walk-back experiment was conducted before lunch. Three participants were suited up for the walk back: Dr. Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute), Marcelo Vazquez (NSBRI, Space Radiation Liason), Tom Chase (Hamilton Sundstrand), and supported by Brian Glass (NASA Ames), Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Pam Baskins (JSC / NSBRI) and Pauline Akeeagok (Senior Field Guide from Grise Fiord). Kevin Coley (freelance photographer) and Ian Daly (Senior Writer, Details Magazine) participated as observers.

Brian Glass celebrated the completion of the walk-back experiments, and the success of the DAME this season, by breaking out a can of diet coke he had been saving for this moment.

Scott Thackrey (planetary geologist, University of Aberdeen) and Prof. Charlie Mason (Morehead State University) went on a traverse to look at impact ejecta and ground surges. Prof. Charlie Mason's students, Megan Ennis and Bill Atwood, did more mapping near the HMP Research Station and around the air strip.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

August 8, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Mary Roach Waves Goodbye
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
A twin otter arrived with three participants. We welcomed Chris Ostafew (Mars Institute) back. He has been in Resolute Bay taking care of HMP participants flying in and out. Kevin Coley (freelance photographer) and Ian Daly (Senior Writer, Details Magazine) arrived as well and will be interviewing HMP participants for an upcoming issue of Details Magazine.

Departing on the twin otter were Mary Roach (Author of best sellers: Bonk, Stiff and Spook), Air National Guardsmen, Stefano Guadagnuolo and Warren Ruedy, and Dr. John Parnell (University of Aberdeen).

Dr. Horton Newsom (Research Professor, Institute of Meteorites, University of New Mexico) participated in a "webinar", watching Dr. Lucy McFadden discuss her adventures in Antarctica last year. During the webinar, Dr. McFadden posted pictures of our HMP Base Camp Manager, John Schutt, during an expedition in the Antarctica.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

August 6, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Scott Thackrey (Univ. of Aberdeen)
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
Scott Thackrey (planetary geologist, University of Aberdeen), Bill Atwood (Morehead State University), and [yours truly] Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute) traversed to the Western Sector, outside of the Haughton Crater. Scott did some mapping of the eject blanket material in the surrounding terrain.

On a separate traverse, Prof. Charlie Mason (Morehead State University) and his student, Megan Ennis, did some more surveying near the HMP Research Station, mapping areas of interest.

Photo Set: HMP-2008: August 6

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

August 5, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Dr. Jonathan Clark and Dr. Horton Newsom
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
A twin otter brought in two new HMP participants, Dr. Jonathan Clark, M.D. (NSBRI, Space Medicine Liaison) and Dr. Horton Newsom (Research Professor, Institute of Meteorites, University of New Mexico).

Several participants traversed to the Geological Survey of Canada Dome, including Dr. John Parnell from the University of Aberdeen and Phd. student, Scott Thackrey, Prof. Charlie Mason from Morehead State University and his students, Megan Ennis and Bill Atwood. Pauline Akeeagok (Senior Field Guide from Grise Fiord), and two Air National Guardsmen, Stefano Guadagnuolo and Warren Ruedy went on a separate traverse to do some surveying.

The Humvee was very carefully packed and went on a dry run through Von Braun Planatia in preparation for a Moon traverse scenario that will be starting tomorrow. The project is being led in the field by Andrew Abercromby (Project Engineer, EVA Physiology Systems and Performance Project / NASA Johnson Space Center) and Dr. Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute). The project's Principal Investigator is astronaut Mike Gernhardt at NASA Johnson Space Center.
Photo Set: HMP-2008: August 5

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

August 4, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Ejecta Block Birthday Cake for Megan Ennis
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
The twin otter arrived in the morning to pick up one of the Air National Guardsman, Jake Williams, and Sasa Simeonie (from Resolute Bay). Chris Ostafew (Mars Institute) flew in and back to Resolute Bay with them as well.

HMP participants had use of a helicopter for a few flights. Film Director, Laurent Lichtenstein, took shots of the landscape for his documentary, and several HMP participants were flown to areas of interest for their research.

Dr. Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute) led a meeting of the HMP Core Team in the Core Module of the Research Station, making plans as the team looks toward the tail end of the field season.

Megan Ennis, from Moorehead State University, enjoyed a birthday today and was presented with an "ejecta block cake" after dinner, courtesy of camp cook, Mike Langenhan. She was also surprised with a helicopter ride that took her to a geologic location of interest to her and her team.

Photo Sets: HMP-2008: August 3 | HMP-2008: August 4

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

August 2, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

New Arrivals
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
Regardless of some wind, today (August 2) was warm with incredible clear blue skies over the HMP Research Station. It was a great day for a total solar eclipse! Hmm. Bad timing.

Marcelo Vazquez (NSBRI, Space Radiation Liason) did walk back scouting with Sarah Huffman (NASA Ames) and Brian Glass (NASA Ames), doing a dry run in the gully. They are gathering data on different types of terrain in order to calibrate their instruments to analyze data from last season's walk back. Measurements taken were related to cadence, number of steps, heart rate and respiration.

A twin otter came in this morning and brought seven new participants: Andrew Abercromby (Project Engineer, EVA Physiology Systems and Performance Project), Scott Thackrey (planetary geologist, University of Aberdeen), Pam Baskins (JSC / NSBRI), Pauline Akeeagok (Senior Field Guide from Grise Fiord) and three Air National Guardsmen: Warren Ruedy, Jake Williams and Stefano Guadagnuolo. Leaving on the plane was the old incinerator and the large honeybee robotics crate with the DAME equipment.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

August 1, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Solar Eclipse - Just After Totality
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
Of course the first event of the day was to be awakened in time for the total solar eclipse! The umbra of the eclipse passed directly over us on this cloudy day, and totality was at 4:25 am CDT. Indeed, the weather did not cooperate in the least, with a solid blanket of clouds before, during, and after the eclipse. However, for HMP participants who have been in 24 hour solid arctic daylight for multiple weeks, the complete darkening of the sky for the duration of totality - 1 minute and 41 seconds - was very dramatic in itself!

Not to be dismayed by the clouds, HMP participants happily flocked to a good viewing site at the HMP Research Station, while [yours truly] Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute) provided live commentary over streaming video in the Core Module, with some additional commentary by Dr. Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute). Thanks to Dr. Stephen Braham (SFU / HMP Associate Director) and the rest of the communications team Christine Pires (SFU / HMP System Support) and Steve Baird (UBC / HMP Field Assistant) for getting the streaming video up and running, in addition to other web cams that captured the dramatic darkening of the sky.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 31, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

New Arrivals
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
A twin otter arrived this morning with new HMP participants, Laurent Lichtenstein (film director), Tom Chase (Hamilton Sundstrand), Dr. Charles Frankel (author, planetary geologist), Sasa Simeonie from Resolute Bay, Prof. Charlie Mason (Morehead State University) and two of his students, Megan Ennis and Bill Atwood. Nick Wilkinson (HMP Project Manager) and Christine Pires (HMP System Support Specialist) were also on the flight, returning after a short stay in Resolute Bay.

Dr. Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute) gave a talk about the Moon and showed non-trivial comparisons between Haughton Crater on Devon Island and Shackleton Crater at the south pole of the Moon, a location which is a likely candidate for future human missions to the Moon.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 30, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Material On DAME Bit 1
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
Jesse Weaver (technician), John Schutt (HMP Base Camp Manager) and Jarloo Kiguktak (former Mayor of Grise Fiord) went on a traverse to scout possible paths for the upcoming Mars-1 Humvee Rover traverse. Their scouting is being treated in this scenario as mock robotic scouting. Their panoramic photos and other information is being used by the Humvee traversing team to assess the viability and safety of the possible routes.

Another group headed to the DAME site. The traverse was led by Dr. Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute) and included Mary Roach (Author of best sellers Bonk, Stiff and Spook), Eleanor Whitworth (daughter of Alex Whitworth, writer), Marcelo Vazquez (NSBRI, Space Radiation Liason) and [yours truly] Elaine Walker (EPO, HMP, Mars Institute), who did a video interview of the DAME team. Pascal's dog, Ping Pong, came along as well.

We are keeping a watchful eye on the weather forecast and cloud cover above us in anticipation of the rare solar eclipse event happening early in the morning - 4:23 AM on August 1. Stephen Braham (HMP Associate Director), with the help of Christine Pires (HMP, System Support Specialist) and Steve Baird (UBC / HMP Field Assistant), is setting up the technology to have streaming video of the solar eclipse on MarsOnEarth.org.

In the event of complete cloud coverage, the video feed will show the HMP Research Station dipping into darkness for a fleeting moment. For HMP participants who have been experiencing continuous sunlight for multiple weeks, this will be spectacular in itself.

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 30, 2008

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

July 29, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

New HMP Participants Arrive
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
A twin otter arrived today with four new HMP participants, Dr. Marcelo Vazquez (NSBRI), Mary Roach (author of best sellers: Bonk, Stiff and Spook), Eleanor Whitworth (daughter of Alex Whitworth who sailed the Northwest Passage from Australia to London), and Dr. John Parnell (Department of Geology and Petroleum, University of Aberdeen).

Marcelo will be here until the end of the season and has a busy agenda. He is continuing with radiation measurements that Dr. Vince Pisacane (US Naval Academy / NSBRI) started last week. Marcelo will also be conducting "walk back" experiments to measure the metabolic cost on an "astronaut" of various terrain and slopes, working on techniques for slope calculation, studying soil characteristics, in addition to other research projects.

The DAME team, Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Sarah Huffman (NASA Ames) Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech) and Joanna Cohen (Honeybee Robotics), lead by Brian Glass (NASA Ames), performed more core sampling with the DAME, working mainly on software upgrades. They will have one more full day with the DAME. They have had a very successful season with the HMP so far and are meeting their goals and expectations.

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 29, 2008

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

July 28, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

New HMP Arrival Jonathan Nelson
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
A twin otter arrived this morning and brought one new HMP participant, Jonathan Nelson (Mars Institute, intern, exploration). Departing were Dr. Christian Otto (Emergency Medicine, University of Ottawa) and Dr. Vince Pisacane (US Naval Academy / NSBRI). Nick Wilkinson (HMP Project Manager) also went out on this flight to help in Resolute for a few days, but will be back on Thursday.

We are in the direct path of the very rare solar eclipse on August 1, and anxiously watching the weather forecasts. Unfortunately, the weather isn't looking good for the eclipse, with cloudy skies and possible rain. At the very least we will have a moment of darkness, which will be amazing in itself after being in solid daylight for so long.

John Schutt (HMP Base Camp Manager) has been continually surveying the land in and around the HMP base camp with the help of Kimik, the camp watch dog who follows John around every moment of the day.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 27, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Time Delayed Mock Surgery 4
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
Dr. Jean-Marc Comtois (Head, Operational Space Medicine, CSA) and Dr. Christian Otto (University of Ottawa) performed another mock-appendetomy scenario today, this time with a built in delay with Detroit to simulate telementoring between Earth and Mars. [yours truly] Elaine Walker (EPO, Mars Institute) did some more over-acting as the mock-patient. The actual mock surgery was done inside of a box full of very realistic mock organs.

The DAME team had another good day. Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames) worked hard on the code, Sarah Hoffman (NASA Ames) removed the casing from the drill, and Stephen Braham (HMP Associate Director / Communications) worked to improve the signal to the DAME site. The rest of the team also worked at the site and continued to meet the daily goals for the core sampling project.

Christine Pires (Simon Fraser University, HMP System Support Specialist) did a lot of desktop support around the HMP Research Station, particularly for Vince Pisacane (US Naval Academy / NSBRI) who was very thankful.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 26, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Vince Pisacane
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
The DAME team, Brian Glass (NASA Ames), Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Sarah Huffman (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech) and Joanna Cohen (Honeybee Robotics) worked all morning and afternoon at the DAME site, setting up lasers, running diagnostics, integrating and testing software. They completed a pilot hole with the core sampler and are on schedule.

Also at the DAME site, Steve Baird (UBC) helped with the repeater link, Katsak Manik (from Resolute) helped with the generator, and Nick Wilkinson (HMP Project Manager) helped at the site as well.

Jesse Weaver, the camp technician, was the mock patient in the medical tent today. Dr's Dr. Jean-Marc Comtois (Head, Operational Space Medicine, CSA) and Dr. Christian Otto (Emergency Medicine, University of Ottawa) performed a thyroid ultrasound with telementoring from Houston.

Dr. Vince Pisacane, the R. A. Heinlein Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the US Naval Academy, traversed to the center of Haughton Crater to set up his radiation experiment in the same location as before. Jarloo Kiguktak and his son Joseph Atchealak (from Grise Fiord) led the traverse, along with [yours truly] Elaine Walker (EPO, Mars Institute) who interviewed Dr. Piscane at the site, Dr. Christian Otto, and camp cooks Mike Langenhan and Mia Bourne.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 25, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Departing HMP Participants
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
The plane arrived with Dr. Pascal Lee (Director, HMP / NASA Ames, Mars Institute, SETI Institute) and his amazing dog, Ping Pong, who peaked her head around Pascal's leg and wagged her tail as she got a glimpse of Kimik, the camp dog. Departing were Perry Johnson-Green (CSA), Matthew Izawa (UWO), Ben Audlaluk (from Grise Fiord), James Hunter (from Resolute), Mike Liberty (UWO), Neil Banerjee (UWO) and Darlene Lim (NASA Ames).

Brian Glass (NASA Ames) and his team Sarah Thompson, Sarah Huffman (both from NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech), and Joanna Cohen (Honeybee Robotics). Did more work setting up the DAME equipment and started core sampling at the hydrothermal site. Steve Baird (UBC) and Katsak Manik (from Resolute) also helped at the site.

Dr. Vince Pisacane (R.A. Heinlein Professor, US Naval Academy) also went to the area near the DAME site and got some radiation measurements. His rather expensive equipment is working well.

The medical team, Dr. Jean-Marc Comtois (Head, Operational Space Medicine, CSA) and Dr. Christian Otto (University of Ottawa) did another mock-medical scenario today, once again with [yours truly] Elaine Walker (EPO, Mars Institute). This time Elaine was a 26 year old pregnant girl with a mock ectopic pregnancy. Doctors video conferenced with Dr. Otto and remotely telementored him through the examination to try and diagnose the problem.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 24, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Elaine Walker gives a Thumbs Up
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
This was a particularly interesting day for [yours truly] Elaine Walker (EPO, Mars Institute) who was the patient in a mock surgery scenario this morning. Dr. Jean-Marc Comtois (CSA) and Dr. Christian Otto (University of Ottawa) began by performing ultra sound on Elaine, telementored by Dr. Ashot Sargsyan (Wyle, Houston). Viewing the ultrasound pictures remotely via video conferencing, Dr. Sargsyan confirmed Elaine's mock-appendicidis.

The video link with Dr. Sargsyan overlapped with a link from Dr. Scott Dulchavsky from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit so that he could update Dr. Dulchavsky on the medical situation. Dr. Dulchavsky then telementored Dr. Otto in removing Elaine's mock appendix, which was inside of a box of very realistic guts strapped to her belly. Elaine watched her mock-appendix being removed in real time, on a video feed from the surgical camera.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

He Made us Laugh - Remembering Col. George Martin

Col. George Martin
Col. George Martin wanted to be an astronaut, he wanted to go to Mars. And if the opportunity had ever come up to go to Mars I think everyone who knew him at the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) would have wanted him to be a part of their crew. Unfortunately George passed away on Monday when the B-52 bomber flight he was on crashed. The flight was part of a fly-by celebration for Guam's Liberation Day. There were no survivors of the 6 person crew.

George had been to the HMP three times. First in 1998 and then in 2000 and 2002. Each time he came, he made friends and brought his sense of humor with him to make us all laugh. At the HMP George was our medical officer, or as he put it, the HMP Doc, but more importantly he was integral part of the team that helped keep morale high while working in the extreme environment of the high arctic with its long work days and short stays.

George, 51, was the deputy commander of 36th Medical Group at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam. His love for space extended to his family as he named his daughter Gemini, and his dogs were named Apollo and Mercury.

For those of us who had the privilege of working with George when he was at the HMP and came to know him, if only briefly, we will miss him.

Marc Boucher

Links:

July 23, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Departing HMP Participants
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
The plane arrived at 10:15am. Departing were Charles Cockell from Open University, Tim Barfoot and Paul Furgale from UTIAS, Gordon "Oz" Osinski from the University of Western Ontario and his students, Laura Thomson, Alaura Singleton, and Simon Auclair.

Vince Pisacane was the only arrival. He is a professor of aerospace engineering at the US Naval Academy and holds the Robert A. Heinlein chair. His research is funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).

Darlene Lim (NASA Ames) traversed to Stanford Lake with Katsak Manik (from Resolute) and Christine Pires (Simon Fraser University). She reports having another lucrative day sampling water.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 22, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Birthday Cake for Brian Glass 4
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
The plane was delayed due to wind in both Resolute and on Devon Island and will try again tomorrow. It rained on and off throughout the day.

Neil Banerjee (University of Western Ontario) and his students, Matthew Izawa and Mike Liberty, got arctic facials in both directions of their traverse, thanks to wind and rain. He and his team had a good day, and in fact it was fairly dry most of the time they were out.

Brian Glass, Principal Investigator for the Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration project (DAME) at NASA Ames, led his crew to the hydrothermal sites to look at potential core sampling sites. The DAME crew consists of Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Sarah Huffman (NASA Ames), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech) and Joanna Cohen (Honeybee Robotics). They met their goals for the day and plan to raise the DAME tent on Thursday.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 21, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Eight New Arrivals
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
The twin otter arrived in the late morning. Robotics engineer, Tom Lamarche (CSA) departed and several new participants arrived. Incoming were Jarloo Kiguktak and his son Joseph Atchealak from Grise Fiord, Darlene Lim (NASA Ames), Brian Glass (NASA Ames) and his team: Sarah Thompson (NASA Ames), Sarah Huffman (NASA Ames), Joanna Cohen (Honeybee Robotics) and Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech).

Today was Oz's last traverse day. He and his crew headed into the Haughton River Valley and looked at some more hydrothermal activity along with Charles Cockell (Open University). Perry Johnson-Green (CSA) had a great day in the lakebeds. Tim Barfoot and Paul Furgale of UTIAS, along with Tom Lamarche (CSA), completed a mock drilling scenario. In the medical tent, the doctors are continuing to prepare for Thursday's mock surgical telementoring. Charles Cockell gave an evening lecture titled "Astrobiology of Impact Craters".

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 21, 2008

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

July 20, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Rain Coming In 4
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
On this day in 1976, the Viking 1 lander, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, became the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars. Stephen Braham (HMP Associate Director) reminded us to take some moments to remember this at the brunch meeting.

The helicopter came in this morning. Gordon "Oz" Osinski (UWO) and his student, Simon Auclair, along with Neil Banerjee (UWO) and his students, Matthew Izawa and Mike Liberty, were in the first helicopter flight of the day. The second flight took Oz and students, Laura Thomson, Alaura Singleton and Matthew Izawa to the "Valley of Oz" and looked at geomorphological features for Laura.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 19, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Evening Lecture
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
There were patches of crunchy snow on the ground when we stepped out of our tents this morning. It snowed all day, and was even a bit chilly for the seasoned traversers. Gordon "Oz" Osinski (UWO) and his students, Alaura Sigleton, Simon Auclair and Laura Thomson did some sampling, along with Tom Lamarche (CSA), Tim Barfoot (PI, University of Toronto) and Paul Furgale (University of Toronto) who took Lidar scans. Charles Cockell (Open University) helped Perry Johnson-Green (CSA) with some sampling of plants on a separate traverse.

Back at the Research Station, Dr. Jean-Marc Comtois (Head, Operational Space Medicine, CSA) and Dr. Christian Otto (University of Ottawa) worked on surgical telementoring. Of course it was mock surgery, using a life-like model of organs and tissue. John Schutt (HMP Base Camp Manager) gave an amazing evening lecture titled "Meteorites and Ice: The Connection" which made us even colder, seeing his many adventures in the Antarctic.

Photo Set: HMP RS - July 19, 2008

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

July 18, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

New Arrivals
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
Stephen Braham explained at the morning meeting that wind force is not proportional to the wind speed, spelled out the scientific formula, then summarized, "A small change in wind speed can mean a big change to your tent!" All tents did stay secure through last night's winds.

The twin otter made it in this afternoon when the weather cleared up, after being delayed due to fog in Resolute and 90 degree crosswinds at the HMP base camp. Eight people went out and only three came in, so we will have a lighter crowd over the weekend. The traverses went out as usual, undeterred by the drizzle.

New Arrivals are Dr. Christian Otto (University of Ottawa, Emergency Medicine), Chris Ostafew (Mars Institute), Neil Banerjee (University of Western Ontario) and his student, Mike Liberty.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 17, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Kimik
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
The three webcams are back up and running thanks to Stephen Braham (Associate Director), Christine Pires (Simon Fraser University) and Marc Boucher (CEO, Mars Institute). The webcams update every minute as long as communications aren't interrupted. When online, the webcams make use of new PlanetNet wireless technology, a Canadian Space Agency funded experiment, led by Simon Fraser University. The webcams are sponsored by SpaceRef.

Webcam 1 | Webcam 2 | Webcam 3

As you can see, it's officially rainy and foggy today. We're expecting a similar weather trend for the next 3 days. Everyone is carrying on with their research as usual, with the addition of rain gear and a tarp or two.

Gordon "Oz" Osinski (University of Western Ontario) traversed with his students, and also Charles Cockell (Open University), Nadeem Ghafoor (MDA Space Missions) and Perry Johnson-Green (CSA).

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 16, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Leaving on a Traverse
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
There were two traverses today. Perry Johnson-Green (CSA) traversed to the area around the weather station with Jesse Weaver (technician). Gordon "Oz" Osinski (University of Western Ontario) lead a traverse to Lake Orbiter with Tim Barfoot (PI, University of Toronto), Paul Furgale (University of Toronto), Tim Haltigin (PI, McGill University), Nadeem Ghafoor (MDA Space Missions), Kevin Williams (Buffalo State University), and three students from the University of Western Ontario. They all reported that their traverses went well. They got rained on when they arrived at their location, but were prepared with tarps and rain gear. The cooling trend has begun!

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report" »

July 15, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Three new HMP participants arrived today on a twin otter: Tom Lamarche and Perry Johnson-Green, both from the Canadian Space Agency, and Chris Iles from the Communications Research Center of Canada.

Research at Trinity Lake
copyright 2008 Mars Institute
Charles Cockell (Open University) led a traverse to Trinity Lake with Matthew Izawa, Alaura Singleton and Simon Auclair, all from the University of Western Ontario. Jesse Weaver (technician) and Elaine Walker (EPO, Mars Institute) joined them on the traverse.

Gordon "Oz" Osinski (University of Western Ontario) and crew traversed to the Haughton River Valley. Tim Barfoot (PI, University of Toronto) joined them via helicopter. The day went well for all of them. After dinner, Oz gave a lecture on impact structures. Also after dinner Tom Graham (University of Guelph) was presented with a birthday "cake" shaped like the Arthur C. Clarke Mars Greenhouse.

The helicopter left today and will be back in a few days. It is snowing in Resolute so we were prepared for the weather to break, but today we saw a lot of blue sky.

Photo Set: Trinity Lake Traverse - July 15, 2008

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

July 13, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report

Incoming Flight

Four new HMP participants flew aboard a twin otter to Devon Island this morning. Participants include Katsak Manik and James Hunter, both from Resolute, who will be helping with many tasks at base camp, Nadeem Ghafoor of MDA Space Missions, and Elaine Walker, EPO, Mars Institute. Elaine (yours truly) will be posting status reports, blogs, photos and videos from now on until August 13 when she departs.

The weather was "warm" (this is a relative term) and clear upon our arrival. Greeting us at the landing strip was Nick Wilkinson (Project Manager), John Schutt (HMP Base Camp Manager), Stephen Braham (Associate Director), Kimik (the dog), Jesse Weaver (technician), and others.

Stephen Braham conducted the evening meeting in which the following was discussed: Nick Wilkinson reports that the helicopter will be arriving at 9:30am and staying until Tuesday. The next twin otter flight is Tuesday. John Schutt reports that the 1st oil change happened today, and that the next 4 or 5 days will not be sunny and that we should make sure our sleeping tents are prepared for high winds. Tim Barfoot (Principal Investigator, University of Toronto) reports that the Lidar is on schedule. Matt Bamsey (CSA) reports that the greenhouse will be operational soon. Gordon "Oz" Osinski (University of Western Ontario) had a good day in the crater. The rivers are dry so they could access areas that are normally more difficult. Charles Cockell had a good day looking for microbes and crustations.

"HMP7SFU Portable Elaine out and clear"

Photo Set: New Arrivals - July 13, 2008

July 9, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report for July 9, 2008

July 7, 2008 Aerial View of the HMP Research Station
A week after the initial Mars Institute advanced team arrived to setup the research station for this years field season operations are running smoothly. The weather so far has been great and the first researchers are conducting their work.

Currently researchers from the Canadian Space Agency and the University of Florida are working in the Mars Institute's Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse. As well, researchers from McGill University and the University of Toronto under the umbrella of the Canadian Space Agency Canadian Analog Research Network (CARN) are set to begin work.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Status Report for July 9, 2008" »

July 1, 2008

HMP Research Station Status Report for July 1, 2008

Good progress is being made getting the HMP Research Station ready for the first researchers expected later this week. The second Air National Guard C-130 made it to Yellowknife, a scheduled stopover yesterday, where it refueled before experiencing a technical difficulty which has delayed its departure. Personnel were enjoying their brief unexpected stopover before a now scheduled onward journey to Resolute tomorrow mid-morning.

June 29, 2008

Second C-130 Lands in Vancouver

The second C-130 landed in Vancouver this afternoon from Long Island, NY. After a resting overnight in Vancouver the Air National Guard will load cargo tomorrow and then around midday head for Resolute Bay.

HMP Research Station Status Report for June 29, 2008

Led by HMP Research Station manager John Schutt, the Mars Institute team arrived at the station yesterday and is busy getting the station ready for researchers expected later this coming week.

Today a C-130 from the the 106th Rescue Wing from the Long Island Air National Guard Rescue Unit is heading to Vancouver, BC. Tomorrow morning the C-130 will load cargo and personnel with a mid-morning departure scheduled headed for Resolute Bay.

UPDATE 6:03 PM CDT: A total of six Twin Otter flights from Resolute to the HMP Research Station in favorable conditions occurred yesterday bringing in all necessary cargo and four people to the station including HMP Research Station manager John Schutt, cook Mike Langenhan, technician and mechanic Jesse Weaver and carpenter Mark Melcon.

June 28, 2008

HMP Research Station Recon Started

HMP Research Station June 27 2008
Yesterday John Schutt, HMP Base Camp Manager and HMP Director Pascal Lee started the initial recon of the HMP Research Station. The station looks to be in good shape although at least one polar bear has visited the station. Damage was minor with a few tears to the mess tent, nothing that can't be fixed in short order.

If the weather cooperates then the plan for today is to get the initial setup team from the Mars Institute brought over by Twin Otter to make the station ready for the field season.

On Monday another another C-130 from the the 106th Rescue Wing from the Long Island Air National Guard Rescue Unit will leave Vancouver for Resolute Bay with more cargo and personnel. And on Tuesday personnel from that flight will head over to the station.

This is the longest field deployment the Haughton-Mars Project has ever conducted with research ongoing until mid-August.

June 27, 2008

First C-130 Cargo Flight a Success

Air National Guard and Mars Institute Team

Yesterday the 102nd Rescue Squadron, part of the 106th Rescue Wing from the Long Island Air National Guard Rescue Unit, transported cargo and Mars Institute personnel from Vancouver to Resolute Bay in support of the Haughton-Mars Project. This is the first of three logistics flights that 106th Rescue Wing will provide this year.

On Monday, another flight will leave Vancouver destined for Resolute Bay with more cargo and personnel onboard.

Today John Schutt, HMP Base Camp Manager and HMP Director Pascal Lee will fly by Twin Otter from Resolute Bay to the HMP Research Station to evaluate the station after the long arctic winter. If all goes well then the first Mars Institute team will arrive at the station tomorrow to prep it for the field season and the arrival of researchers expected later next week.

June 24, 2008

Two Days to Initial Deployment to Resolute Bay

Today an Air National Guard C-130 Hercules is making it's way to Moffett Field at NASA Ames to be loaded with gear destined for the HMP Research Station (HMP-RS) on Devon Island, high arctic.

This will be one of three support flights that the Air National Guard will provide to the HMP this year. After taking on supplies today, the Herc will fly to Vancouver, BC tomorrow to pick up additional gear and passengers for a flight on Thursday to Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island. Resolute Bay is the staging point for all field deployments for projects in the Canadian high arctic.

Once in Resolute the Herc will unload it's gear and the Mars Institute core team will make preparations to ferry over to the HMP-RS on Devon Island. Optimally the team will deploy to the HMP-RS on Saturday, June 28th if weather conditions permit. In the high arctic and in particular Resolute Bay, weather is always a factor for deployment, whether it's wind, fog or snow.

June 9, 2008

HMP-2008 Field Deployment Almost Here

In just over two weeks the first group of Mars Institute staff will make their way to Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island and then onward to the HMP Research Station located at the edge of the Haughton impact crater on Devon Island for the start of HMP-2008.

Once the research station has been opened up for this years field season over 80 participants from over 15 institutions and two space agencies will make their way to Haughton Crater to conduct an exciting science and exploration research program. This years field season is expected to run through to mid-August, our longest deployment to date and will include the total solar eclipse on August 1st.

This year we plan to keep you even better informed on a daily basis using a variety of online social networking tools including:

As well we're planning webcasts of various events which may include the eclipse itself. Stay tuned for me details on the webcast schedule. And of course when full communications have been setup we'll turn on our live webcams.

February 23, 2008

Prepping for the 2008 Field Deployment

In just over four months the Mars Institute along with our research partners from various organizations and space agencies will once again make the trek to the HMP Research Station in the high arctic for the 12th year of research activities by the Haughton-Mars Project.

As we get closer to deploying we'll keep you up to date on what specific activities we'll be doing this year. One added bonus event this year is the total solar eclipse happening on August the 1st. The HMP Research Station is directly in the path of totality so we should have an excellent viewing and research opportunity, weather permitting of course.

The Haughton-Mars Project will be using even more social media tools this year to keep you up to date. To start, we invite you to follow us on our HMP Research Station Twitter channel. Twitter is social micro-blogging service.

November 7, 2007

Field Season Wrap-Up

We had a great field season with some of the best weather ever for our researchers. At this time we have been debriefing with all the participants the events of the past field season and making plans for an even better field deployment next year. As well next year has an added bonus of a total solar eclipse occurring on August 1st with our research station being in the direct path. This provides us with an opportunity for additional research we might not normally do from our location.

The HMP Research Station is unoccupied at this time however ongoing research is being conducted in the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse with data being collected daily and being sent back by satellite to researchers in Vancouver and Montreal.

August 14, 2007

HMP Research Station Update - August 14

The HMP-2007 field season has now officially come to a close. By all accounts, HMP-2007 was a great success highlighted by several significant achievements. The HMP management and operational personnel have all returned home from the Arctic now, and planning for HMP-2008 is already underway.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Update - August 14" »

July 30, 2007

HMP Research Station Update - July 30

I've returned to Resolute Bay to coordinate the preliminary end-of-season logistics and from what I've seen at the station, I'm happy to report that the HMP-2007 field season is going exceedingly well. Five weeks of continuously sunny weather has enabled all of the research teams to remain on schedule, and even get ahead of schedule in some cases. Most impressive however, is the hard work that everyone's been putting in to capitalize on the favourably dry conditions.

Continue reading "HMP Research Station Update - July 30" »

July 11, 2007

HMP Research Station Update - July 11

The field season is progressing well with more participants arriving today. We now have a list of the participants with a link to their biography. The weather has been great and unseasonably warm.

All the webcams are now online and the three HMP Research Station webcams are updating every minute. We've also added our second entry in our new feature this year "This Week @ HMP". Included are spotlights on various projects ongoing during that week as well as a new video feature.

July 2, 2007

HMP-2007 Field Season Kick-Off

The HMP-2007 field season is now underway! Several HMP team members are now in Resolute Bay and on Devon Island at the HMP Research Station site. The first few days at the station will be spent setting up gear and the rest of the facility in preparation for the arrival of the first research teams, on July 10th and 11th.

Continue to watch this space and www.marsonearth.org for updates and additional information about the many interesting activities planned for this summer.

August 16, 2006

HMP Research Station Field Season Comes to a Close

On Thursday August 10th the last of the participants left the HMP Research Station. The research station was prepared for the coming winter. While everyone has left the research station, work is still ongoing, both back at their respective institutions for participants and at the research station. At the research station the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse is working autonomously with researchers monitoring systems remotely. Shown below is the ongoing summer plant growth.

Summer ongoing plant growth.

This next image shows the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse and surrounding area.


The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse and surrounding area.

August 7, 2006

HMP RS Status Update - August 7, 2006

The field season is winding down, and the station is being prepared for the winter as the final research projects come to a close.

Over the past week, additional testing of the Hamilton-Sundstrand spacesuit was conducted in addition to ongoing fieldwork being carried out by participants from Morehead State University, University of Aberdeen and University of Ottawa. The Mars Institute was also very happy to accommodate a visit by CSA astronaut Chris Hadfield. In addition to visiting HMP, Chris also gave talks about his experiences in space to the communities of Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord.

The station population is currently at 22, with this number expected to fall to 15 by the end of the day.

Continue reading "HMP RS Status Update - August 7, 2006" »

August 1, 2006

HMP Research Station Webcams online

Two new HMP Research Station webcams are now online and updating every 10 minutes. This brings a total of four webcams now available including the two from the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse.

July 29, 2006

HMP RS Status Update - July 29, 2006

The HMP RS has been swirling with activity over the past few weeks.

With the Greenhouse and DAME research efforts now complete, the focus at the HMP RS is now turning towards preparations for the third major activity of the season: a simulated medical rescue Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA). Participants from NASA, CSA, Hamilton-Sundstrand, SFU, Mars Institute and several other organizations are busily readying communications systems, biomedical sensors, patient extraction hardware, prototype spacesuits and much more in order to execute a scripted scenario, which will take place on Monday. More details to follow soon.

Many HMP-2006 participants have flown in and out of HMP over the past week. The Greenhouse, astrobiology and geology teams from the CSA have now departed, as have the members of the NASA DAME team and AC Hitch. Dr. Rick Scheuring, MD (NASA-JSC), Tom Chase and Addy Overbeeke (Hamilton-Sundstrand), Dr. Azhar Rafiq (Virginia Commonwealth University), and Steve Chappell (University of Colorado, Boulder, Mars Institute and Rocky Mountain Rescue) have all flown in to help conduct the medical rescue EVA simulation. In addition, Scott Thackrey (University of Aberdeen and Mars Institute), Charlie Mason and Wesley Smith (Morehead State University), and Marius Verscheure (Universite de Paris and Mars Institute) are now in camp to conduct a variety of geological studies. Nick Wilkinson (HMP Project Manager) continues to fly back and forth between Resolute Bay and the HMP RS, working where needed to coordinate logistical support.

The HMP RS is currently supporting 29 participants, all of whom are enjoying and taking advantage of some gorgeous weather conditions.

July 22, 2006

HMP RS Aerial Photo


Aerial Photo of the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station (HMP RS) on Devon Island, High Arctic, taken from a helicopter on July 20, 2006. The HMP RS is managed and operated jointly by the Mars Institute and the SETI Institute. Research at the HMP RS site is supported mainly by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. Photo HMP-2006 / Pascal Lee.

July 19, 2006

HMP RS Status Update - July 19, 2006

Another busy day at the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station (HMP RS). As we approach the mid-point in the field season, researchers are making significant strides on a number of fronts for their respective projects.

Traverses were led to the Trinity Lake region and into the Haughton Impact structure to study geology and biochemistry, while the DAME autonomous drilling team continued to refine their operations and attain new milestones. As reported yesterday, the CSA team working in the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse continued with their ambitious schedule and are continuing to report successes. Construction and upgrades to the HMP RS facility are also proceeding very well.

In addition, a telemedicine experiment was conducted. Dr Jean-Marc Comtois of the CSA, assisted by Canadian Forces physician Lt-Col Bruce Bain conducted a simulated patient scenario to test connectivity and fidelity of the telemedicine system. The simulation scenario involved a young researcher who had been in an ATV accident and was complaining of some chest pain and slight shortness of breath and moderately severe abdominal pain. Using a portable ultrasound machine provided by Sono-site Corporation, they performed a FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma) exam on a real volunteer and these images were transmitted via C-band satellite communication (Anik F1) to a trauma surgeon in Vancouver BC, Dr Ross Brown. The surgeon was able to clearly see the images and, had it been a real situation, these would have proven invaluable in assisting in the management of the patient, including when and if an aeromedical evacuation would have been required. This scenario also demonstrated the utility of having a consultant be able to visualize the patient and potentially be able to direct the practitioner on scene on the performance of certain types of procedures. Having this telemedicine capability greatly enhances the level of care available for real-life emergencies at the HMP site and underscores it's utility for remote medicine in general, be that in the arctic, in space or in other remote sites such as on board ships or submarines.

In the coming days, additional summaries and photos will be provided to outline the many different types of research and other activities that take place at the HMP RS.

July 17, 2006

Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 17, 2006

The weather cooperated just enough yesterday so that we could get one Twin Otter flight to the HMP Research Station (RS). Onboard were Brian Glass (NASA), Kris Zacny (Honeybee), Shannon Statham (Georgia Tech), Alex Spadoni (Georgia Tech), Patrick Audlaluk (Grise Fiord) and Tom Kiguktak (Grise Fiord).

Today the The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) team will get their project started in earnest. The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse team is past just past the midway point in their field season and we'll have a report available tomorrow on their activities.

There are currently 39 people at the HMP Research Station.

July 15, 2006

Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 15, 2006

Yesterday we had one Twin Otter flight to the HMP Research Station (RS). Onboard were Pascal Lee (Mars Institute/SETI Institute), Camille Desportes (Mars Institute), Rhoda Akeeagok (Grise Fiord), Howard Cannon, Gale Paulsen and Edward Balaban from the NASA DAME team. Leaving the HMP RS was Perry Johnson-Green (Canadian Space Agency) who has completed his work.

Since we put in a couple of people early yesterday it was decided not to send any flights over today. Weather permitting we'll have a flight tomorrow with six people onboard and their cargo. There are currently 33 people in camp.

July 14, 2006

Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 14, 2006

Everyone at the HMP Research Station is settling in and research activities are ongoing. The weather has been good for several days. Today we have scheduled one Twin Otter flight to arrive bringing in more cargo and the return of Pascal Lee, principal investigator of the HMP. Tomorrow we have scheduled two Twin Otter flights which will ferry cargo and the NASA led DAME drilling team. The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project, is developing automation for future Mars (or other planetary) drills. Also scheduled to be on the flight from Resolute to the HMP RS are Camille Desportes, another of the Mars Institute interns and Rhoda Akeeagok from Grise Fiord.

This week the Canadian Space Agency Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse team began upgrades to the greenhouse. Since 2002 the Dr. Alain Berinstain of the Canadian Space Agency has been principal investigator of the Mars Institute's Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse. Dr. Berinstain will provide a report shortly outlining this years goals and progress. You can view these earlier reports.

Also this week Alex Lasslop of CNES, the French Space Agency, began his psychology research project. His goal at the HMP RS is:

On one side to be a participative observer, in order to get a personal experience of an isolated, confined, and hostile environment, and to observe how people interact in such special circumstances, which are close to what could be encountered on the Moon.

On the other side I wish to conduct a series of studies to analyze the group dynamics taking place in such environments (the impact of interpersonal and intercultural issues on the interaction of the crewmembers, and the influence of the crewmembers social characteristics, personality traits, and interpersonal needs on measures of behavior and performance at the end of their mission).

There are currently 28 people at the HMP Research Station with that number expected to rise to 37 by tomorrow.

July 12, 2006

Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 12, 2006

On Monday our one scheduled Twin Otter flight made it to the HMP Research Station (HMP RS) bringing in more field support participants including Pauline Akeegok (Grise Fiord), Brandy Iqaluk (Resolute) and Philip Junior Manik (Resolute). Leaving the HMP RS as scheduled was Daniel Iqaluk. As well on Monday evening three more participants arrived in Resolute Bay. They were from the Canadian Space Agency, Martin Lebeuf and Richard Leveille and Mars Institute intern Melissa Rice. They spent the night in Resolute and yesterday flew over to HMP RS. There are currently 28 people at the HMP RS.

In the last week the HMP RS has been prepped for this years research activities. A report on this weeks research activities will be available in the next couple of days.

July 8, 2006

Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 8, 2006

For the last several days the weather has been good enough to allow us to get nine Twin Otter flights to the HMP Research Station from Resolute Bay. Five flights went over on Thursday ferrying cargo and the following participants from the Canadian Space Agency, Dr. Jean-Marc Comtois, Matt Bamsey and Tom Graham as well as PJ Attagootak (Resolute student), Sarah Huffman (NASA) and Alex Lasslop (CNES).

Yesterday four Twin Otter flights made it to the HMP Research Station ferrying the bulk of the remaining cargo we had as well as the following participants: From the Canadian Space Agency; Alain Berinstain, Richard Giroux, Philip Neron, Lydia Calhoun, Marc-Andre Lavoie, Perry Johnson-Green, Gordon Osinski and from the University of Florida, Rob Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul and from Simon Fraser University, Colin Russell.

This brings the number of staff and participants at the HMP Research Station to 25. We are on schedule and anticipate getting the research activities started in earnest within the next couple of days.

July 5, 2006

The Mars Institute Core Team Arrives at the HMP Research Station on Devon Island

On Tuesday, July 4th part of the Mars Institute core team arrived at the HMP Research Station on Devon Island. Two Twin Otter flights brought in base camp manager John Schutt, deputy base camp manager Samson Simeonie, Canadian principal investigator Stephen Braham, one of his assistants Christine Peres, A C Hitch, Jesse Weaver, Connie Pudluk and Daniel Iqaluk.

They are currently preparing the HMP Research Station for the arrival of the participating researchers. Today, weather permitting, one flight is scheduled to go to Devon Island carrying cargo. As well the second charter has left Edmonton this afternoon on its way to Resolute with cargo and several participants including researchers from the Canadian Space Agency.

July 2, 2006

The Mars Institute Core Team Arrives in Resolute Bay, Nunavut

The first charter plane arrived in Resolute Bay yesterday on schedule with the initial Mars Institute core team and cargo. Another charter with personnel and cargo is scheduled to arrive in Resolute on Wednesday, July 5th.

An initial assessment by the Polar Continental Shelf Project pilots of the landing strip on Devon Island at the HMP Research Station indicates it may be acceptable for use at this point. A reconnaissance flight to the HMP Research Station is scheduled for later today, weather permitting. Should the reconnaissance flight take place and if conditions are good then the first team will attempt insertion tomorrow to begin preparing the HMP Research Station for this years field activities.

June 15, 2006

HMP Research Station Update

In just a few weeks the initial Mars Institute core team will arrive at the HMP Research Station on Devon Island for the 10th field season of the Haughton-Mars Project. Our field season on Devon Island is expected to run from the first week of July though to the first week of August, weather permitting.

We are anticipating an exciting field season with over 40 participating researchers from the Canadian Space Agency, NASA, CNES, University of Aberdeen, University of Calgary, University of Florida, University of Guelph, Morehead State University, University of Ottawa, Simon Fraser University, and Hamilton Sundstrand.

In early July we'll start posting updates as they come from the field to keep you up to date.

May 10, 2006

Arctic Field Support Engineers Needed - Simon Fraser University

The Simon Fraser University PolyLAB in Vancouver, a unit of the Telematics Research Laboratory, is expecting to hire one or two support engineers, for a short period, to support exciting Canadian national activities in planetary exploration science, in which researchers develop scientific, engineering, and methodological techniques for furthering planetary exploration. The focus will be on understanding planetary surface exploration, especially the human exploration of the Moon and Mars, through supported field activities at planetary analogue field locations and laboratories. The selected person will support systems in this area in a field deployment in an Arctic field camp.

The requirement is to hire personnel who can support SFU's engineering support and management of exploration systems at the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station (HMPRS), on Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic. The hiring will be for roughly one month, starting in mid to late June, journeying to the Arctic at the beginning of July, and returning in early August.

August 10, 2005

HMP Research Station Update August 10, 2005

The HMP Research Station is now closed until next summer with the exception of the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse (ACGH) which is running autonomously. You can follow the day to day weather and plant growth progress with the three ACGH webcam's.

We had an exceptional field season and will post more reports in the coming weeks
and have already begun to plan for next year. Stay tuned.

August 5, 2005

HMP Research Station Update August 5, 2005

After an initial run of bad weather at the beginning of the field season the last two weeks have provided us with good to great conditions at times to conduct our research. Communications by Internet are now offline for the rest of the field season. At this time 14 people are scheduled to leave the Research Station today and tomorrow leaving a small group for the last 4 days before the Research Station is closed for the year.

We still have several photo reports that will be put online over the next couple of weeks for activities in the last week. This includes another report on the Hamilton Sundstrand space suit as well as the successful Mars-1 Humvee Rover traverse to the gullies.

The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse continues to operate in autonomous mode and is sending back data daily including an image per day from each of the webcams.

July 29, 2005

HMP Research Station Update July 29, 2005

Today's activities centered around a major traverse into the Haughton Crater so that Dr. Jeff Jones could complete his sampling of unvisited locations looking to see if the human associated microbes have altered the local microflora for a planetary protection study. As well on the same traverse Dr. Brian Glass also needed to completed his sampling gravity measurements for his research.

Both of them along with four other participants then caught a late afternoon flight to Resolute ending their work at the HMP Research Station for the year.

Aerial View of Trinity Lake, the Mars Institute's Mars-1 Humvee, the DAME Mars Drilling site and Chawla Peak bathed in sunshine.

An aerial View of Trinity Lake, the Mars Institute's Mars-1 Humvee, the DAME Mars Drilling site and Chawla Peak bathed in sunshine where Columbia Astronaut Kalpana Chawla's Inukshuk Memorial stands.

Read the complete report ...

July 28, 2005

HMP Research Station Update July 28, 2005

The Hamilton Sundstrand Prototype Concept Suit.

Today provided us with the type of weather you would want a brochure, sunny and warm. Everyone wanted to be outside to enjoy this day. It was also the perfect weather to testing the concept space suit from Hamilton Sundstrand. Pictured to the left engineer Susie Shimamoto tries on the suit for the first time (Click on image for larger version). Over the course of the next week the Hamilton Sundstrand team will test the suit in various scenarios including as part of traverse with the Mars Institute's Mars-1 Humvee Rover. Tomorrow we'll have a photo report of the Hamilton Sundstrand space suit activity.

Read the complete report ...

January 27, 2005

Space Shuttle Columbia Inukshuk Memorials, January 27, 2005

McCool Crossing
McCool Crossing.

To honor the memory of the seven astronauts of Space Shuttle Columbia's last flight, and at the suggestion of our colleague Keith Cowing of SpaceRef, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) has established seven astronaut memorial sites on Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic, during the summer field seasons of 2003 and 2004.

Each site was chosen for its special significance in the NASA HMP's analog exploration program near Haughton Crater, and is marked by an Inukshuk, a traditional Inuit "Stone Person". The Inuit erect Inukshuks to mark land and to guide and comfort travelers on perilous journeys across the Arctic. At the base of each our Columbia Inukshuks, a sealed container was placed, enclosing the following in memoriam items: the bio of one of the seven Columbia astronauts, a patch of the crew's shuttle mission, and a patch of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project.

It is our hope that the Columbia Inukshuks on Devon Island will help bring peace to all those who continue to miss these seven astronauts, and will help inspire and guide future generations of space explorers who will journey to the Moon, Mars and Beyond.

Visit the Space Shuttle Columbia Inukshuk Memorials.

Pascal Lee
NASA HMP Principal Investigator

September 23, 2004

HMP Chief Biologist Dr. Charles Cockell and Colleagues Reveal New Find

109-0950_IMG.s.jpg

Data collected by Dr. Cockell during his field work at our Arctic base helped him with this new find.

Large colonies of micro-organisms living under rocks have been discovered in the most hostile and extreme regions of the Arctic and Antarctic - giving new insights on survival of life on other planets.

Reporting in this week's Nature, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography reveal their surprise findings that rock-dwelling micro-organisms can photosynthesise and store carbon just as much as the plants, lichens and mosses that live above ground.

August 13, 2004

HMP Update - Photo Report, August 13, 2004

Several new photo reports are now available.

August 10, 2004

HMP Update - Mars Drill Report, August 10, 2004

For the first time, a full-scale Mars-prototype deep drill has been tested under field conditions at a high-fidelity Mars-analog site. The first Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) field season deployed a modified Honeybee Deep Drill.

August 9, 2004

HMP Update August 9, 2004

Everyone has left our base camp at Devon Island but as mentioned in our previous update data is still being sent back from the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse. The image below was sent back on Saturday, August 7th from the autonomous control systems.

August 4, 2004

HMP Update - Field Season Wrap-up August 4, 2004

Another field season has come and gone. By tomorrow all participants will have left Devon Island and our camp will be closed until next year. However experiments are still ongoing in the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse which is sending back data on daily basis by satellite to researchers.

We're not finished reporting from this field season just yet. We have a couple more reports to post and several photo reports will be online in the next week. So check back soon.

November 10, 2003

HMP Update November 10, 2003

The NASA HMP Featured on the Discovery Channel Canada. Recently the Daily Planet Show on the Discovery Channel Canada featured a week long segment on either a science or engineering project of the HMP. These segments are about 8 minutes long and provide an overview of some of the work being done.

The video is also availableonline for your viewing.

October 14, 2003

HMP Update October 14, 2003

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project Receives the Vision to Reality Award.

During its 12th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA, the Space Frontier Foundation presented its 2003 "Vision to Reality" Award to Dr. Pascal Lee and the NASA Haughton-Mars Project Team. Previous recipients of the award include: XCOR Aerospace and the EZ Rocket Team (2002), Dr Yuri Semenov, Yuri Koptev and Dennis Tito (2001), The MirCorp Team (2000), The Sea Launch Team (1999), The Lunar Prospector Team (1998), The Clementine Lunar Probe Team (1995), The Delta Clipper (DC-X) Team (1994), and The Founders of the International Space University (1993).

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