Greenland – April 9, 2014

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We hauled all our IB2 equipment on a sled to an outcrop which Lisa helped us identify as a possible analog site for microbial life on Mars. The outcrop consisted of finely layered deposit rich in iron and sulfur that was formed in an ancient aqueous environment and could be used as a source of energy for primitive microbes.

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We set up the IB2 drill on a small ledge just above the outcrop.

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After making a couple s/w modifications, we let the drill run autonomously down to 1 m after which a drill extension was added.  IB2 then continued to 2 m (196 cm to be exact) at a very quick rate. At various depths, we noticed that our weight-on-bit reading fluctuated signifying layers of different hardness which greatly interested Lisa.

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For this test we did not focus on collecting the cuttings while drilling. (They were flushed with pressurized gas out from the borehole.) However, we plan on returning to the exact same site within a day or two and collect the cuttings using a Hilti drill in order to determine the stratigraphy of the outcrop.

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