Thursday, April 19, 2007


We made it out to the Hab yesterday. We hitched a ride on one of the supply flights to try and get an idea of the challenges we are facing in getting the station ready for four months of habitation. It was a nice warm day by Arctic standards, about 20 Fahrenheit or -6 Celsius. My first ride on a DeHavilland Twin Otter was awesome.

When we got to the station we were immediately challenged. All the doors were frozen shut. Around here, given time, the snow blows into any crack and all the door seals were solidly welded with ice. To deal with this, and save the recon mission, we set up a large portable heater that we had brought to warm the Hab. We set it to blow all 90,000 BTU's right on the door, which we fixed with a makeshift tent. An hour or so later the door was open and we were able to do our recon. It was colder in the Hab than it was outside. The steam in my breath actually froze in mid-air for the first few minutes I was inside, until the heaters finally took over. This is going to be a challenging environment for computer electronics.

In all the hab was in good shape. We did find all the problems reported by the last crew as we expected, but there weren't any big surprises. We did find a couple of bottles of frozen olive oil in the cupboard. I'll have to look up the freezing temp on that one, but at least the bottles didn't break. We will have our work cut out for us, especially now that the schedule has slipped by a week, but we still hope to get it mostly up to spec by the time the crew arrives.

We brought the two Yanmar generators back with us from the hab to get running here in Res. Now we wait on tools and supplies... in the meantime, some more pix:

Hab on Ice


We will have our work cut out for us

Norman, the man tasked to, "not let us do anything stupid"

Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, Oscar

Norman and Paul load the sled

It's the monster from Star Trek!
Not really, it is just my breath freezing in mid-air in one of the staterooms...

Marines really can sleep anywhere

Leaving the Hab in the snow


georgi said...

Way to go Fixit...
Nice 'lock picking'/unfreezing technique.

Here is a link to oliver oil freezing. The relevant part is about half way down the page. It also says that freezing olive oil will "prolong it's nutritional benefits and its flavor". So happy cooking!!!

sharron said...

Lots of work to do..will keep you busy for awhile. Living in Texas, I never thought about one's breath freezing.Thanks for all the pictures, it lets me know kinda' what you all will be facing. Have a good day, stay safe. Love U.