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Field Report

April 23, 2003
Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, Chile

Agenda
- Remote science investigation approaching alluvial fan
- Collect localization data from Sun sensor and side-view camera
- Test mission planning of science instrument (SPI) data collection

Status and Progress
- Studied local geology. Today several of the Chilean co-investigators
with the Life in the Atacama project arrived at the site. We had
lengthy discussions of the known geology and biology of the area and
went on a brief tour to better understand the terrain. Many of the
interesting features we have seen in the last few weeks were better
explained including what is likely to be mineral and what might be
organic in origin.
- Conducted remote science investigation. We had another early morning
trip to Iquique to transfer data causing a late start to the day's
rover traverse. The science plan is to continue traverse from the
salar to a nearby alluvial fan, taking images and instrument readings
along the way. There are a series of embankments of smaller scale than
represented in the digital elevation model and beyond the immediate
field of view of the sensors. Hyperion has encountered the first of
these and diverted around it. This led it into a wind-formed salar
which is traversable but bumpy. The day ended (all three hours of it)
ended with Hyperion not quite where the science team planned. We'll
resume tomorrow.

Upcoming
- Remote science investigation approaching alluvial fan
- Collect localization data from Sun sensor and omniview camera
- Test mission planning of science instrument (SPI) data collection

Weather
Morning: Overcast, imagined threat of rain
Evening: High clouds, occasional gusts of wind, another nice sunset

Humidity Insolation Temperature Wind
 
Weather data is from April 22, the last available day of data. Note
that we were reprogramming the weather station and data recording was
down after 10:00am

Vulture Count: (no reported vultures)

Quote of the Day
" This is how we got to the moon." "No, more like, this is how Apollo 13
got back from the moon."

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