Today was a full day out at the drill site. We made additional mapping scans at various depths and then completed a few point clouds by firing off thousands of pulses at 80 Hz while traversing the 110 m borehole. The goal now is to find hotspots in the data that indicate concentrations of microbial activity. The jackpot would be to find a “microbe city”, which are hotspots that can contain as many as 10^3 microbes/mL! In parallel, we had our resident Glaciologist John Priscu analyzing core composition, and more specifically bubble formation to inform us on where we are in the firn to glacial ice transition. With the discovery of sealed off bubble formations and little to no permeability in the ice, we can almost certainly say we have drilled through glacial ice! Today we also welcomed Mike Malaska to Summit Station. Mike rounds out the science team as the PI on the project and will be playing an instrumental role in analyzing the data and trying to pinpoint these areas of organic presence.
About the Exploration Technology GroupHoneybee Robotics Exploration Technology Group engineers and builds terrestrial and extraterrestrial drilling, excavation, and geotechnical systems, as well as sample acquisition, transfer and processing technologies. Because these systems are autonomous, smart, low power, light-weight, and low-mass, they have application not only in space, but here on earth in mining and petroleum applications.