Captain of Small Research Vessels; e.g.; for Aqua Survey, Inc.
you might also remember that when I took off from seafaring to work with NASA
and SETI in an expedition diving into Volcano Crater Lakes in the Bolivian Andes
to study the origins of Life in extreme environments, it seemed like I was
abandoning the sea and my commitment to oceanic exploration, even if it was just
for a couple of months in 2006.
But now that the principal investigator
of the NASA/SETI High Lakes Expedition, Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, is preparing to
launch a (very) small Research Vessel into space, to splash down on a
"Lake" on Saturn’s largest moon, I can’t help
but be excited about the convergence of these 2 passions.
Seriously, a Research Vessel, on an Ocean, (lets not
quibble about technicalities just yet) in OUTER SPACE. It doesn’t get any better
Planetary LakeLander, Principal Investigator
Nathalie Cabrol of NASA AmesResearch
Centerand the SETI
Institute. This three-year field campaign will design
and deploy a lake lander
in the Central Andes of Chile at Laguna Negra
a particularly vulnerable system where
ice is melting at an accelerated rate.
The study will help answer questions
about how deglaciation affects habitat,
biodiversity, metabolic activity,
and biogeochemical cycling in glacial lakes.
Such information will provide a better understanding of how life adapted during
deglaciations in the
past, as well as bring new insight into Mars
during comparable geological periods.
research will also present
challenges analogous to those faced by future
missions to planetary seas on
Saturn’s moon, Titan.
lander mission to Titan would be the first of its kind, and no
operational data from analogous studies currently exists. This field
campaign will deliver the first field demonstration of a remotely operated,
adaptive planetary lake lander with complete systems and an analog payload. It
will provide critical background information, hands-on experience,
simulations, and operational scenarios for the development of
lake landers capable of ever increasing decision-making
For more details and updates, read
Nathalie's reports from the field at