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April 7, 2003
Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, Chile
- Locate sites for rover experiments in western Salar
- Establish base camp
Status and Progress
- Explored western salar in early morning dash. Encountered fog in depression
where coastal range opens to ocean (610m). Discovered "Green Hills", areas of
algae/lichen on the surface of east facing ridges.
- Located area west of salar suitable to long distance navigation and communication
experiments: long broad valley with rolling terrain and large blocks.
- Located site for base camp with reasonable proximity to science sites and rover
experiment sites. In another dash we broke camp at the cargo drop site and moved
tents, gear, and the solar/weather station to the base camp site.
- Obtained remaining ground control points by traveling "sulfuric acid" road
inland. We now believe we have obtained sufficient points with spatial distribution
and variation in elevation allow geo-referencing of the digital elevation model.
- Set up weather/solar station
- Complete chariot del fuego
[Weather station not yet online]
Morning: Clear, Light Dew , Low 12C, no Wind
Afternoon: Hazy, High 23C, Wind 20-30kph.
Evening: Clear (incredible stars), 20C, Wind calm
Vulture Count: 24
Quote of the day
"That? That's the binary language of salt evaporators."