Drill, Dig, Drill, Dig……

LITA Drill is developed in 2012 in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, JPL, Washingtion University, and Honeybee Robotics to support the NASA Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) in robotics investigation of subsurface Life in the Atacama Desert.LITA drill going for full depth (83cm) drilling.  Looking glamorously standing above Zoe’s solar panels.

Before each operation, we made sure that our sample acquisition parts were cleaned and sterilized.  This was very challenging since it required getting under the rover and eating whole amount of dirt.

Drill head approaching 60 cm mark through very confined space inside the Zoe.

Drill approaching maximum depth.  To understand the subsurface, scientist need to analyze samples.  While drilling, Kim collected cuttings.Cuttings being pulled out through chute.  This hole was very successful.

After being collected in the flute, cuttings left on the flute gets dumped into small sampling cups for spectrometer reading and UV photo.

Carousel contains 20 sampling cups which are compacted and ready for on-board science instruments analysis.

We made 80 cm hole on the ground of Atacama desert.  This test was conducted in basin area of Atacama desert where scientists hope to find good life forms.  At last, we came through and provided very good amount of samples to satisfy everybody.  After a successful drilling operation, round of hi-fives were given and ready for some more pit digging for sample comparison.

After a quick break, I am ready for more drilling!!


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