Prepping for Launch – Destination Greenland

Hey there, Justin here. As the week comes to a close here in Pasadena, Sean and I are wrapping up preparations for our trip to Greenland. The map below shows where we are headed to circled in red.

Our destination, just inside the arctic circle.

Scientists are studying microbial life in a series of lakes near Kangerlussuaq (Kanger for short) which are right next to each other, but have distinctly different habitats. Take note of the size legend in the map below to see just how close these guys actually are.

Our area of study in Greenland. Each of these lakes has its own name and a distinct ecosystem.

Our mission in Greenland is to plant our Mk2 Sniffer bits, gas-sniffing drill strings, 2 meters down into the rocky ground in order to look for trace gases. We will be inserting our sniffer bits via Icebreaker 2 (IB2) and by hand with a Hilti drill in several locations around these lakes. For more information on the mission as a whole and not just our part in it, check out

Sean with one of the sniffer drill strings in his famous shop apron. This one is ready to drill.

Sean is a super trooper, just getting back from Chile and already headed back out to the field.

This thing is taller than I am!

We also took these guys on a test run to rate their performance and to get some expert advice from Gale. Turned out to be a worthwhile experience. The Mk2 Sniffer performed great and is ready for the field!

Gale keeping a watchful eye as Sean drills into a test rock.

Me about to try my hand with the Sniffer. Not as easy as Sean made it look.

It is going to be a fun challenge getting these things into Greenland rock, but our motto isn’t “We drill the easy stuff” so we welcome it.

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