Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) is a mission to study the upper atmosphere of Mars. Here is a link to the NASA page.
On November 18, 2013 MAVEN was launched from Cape Canaveral.
Back in September of 2013, I heard about an opportunity to have names added to a DVD that would make the voyage to orbit Mars. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the red planet on September 22, 2014.
Not wanting to make the trip alone, I’ve taken my family with me.
The incoming Immigration documentation requested occupations. Mine was easy…hasn’t changed since “deckhand”. Moe’s has changed over the years…
cook, clerk, homemaker, clerk, homemaker, clerk, lollipop lady, locker jockey and is now where it should be.
Our flight over was thankfully uneventful. We arrived at Heathrow a few minutes late after the mandatory holding pattern laps. After all that we had heard about the long waits for passport control, we were expecting to cool our heals for up to two hours, but after we made our way from Terminal 3 to T1, we walked right up to the counter and breezed through. A quick stop to the BMI counter for boarding cards and…”would you like to catch an earlier flight, sir?”
We arrived in Edinburgh 3 hours ahead of schedule to a full on gale, but it gave us time to grab a SIM card for my phone. £15 for a 300 minutes, 3000 texts and unlimited tether able data. I love you 3.
We caught a cab to our B&B (Priestville Guesthouse) where Colin and Trina filled us in all there was to see and do during our short visit. A quick rest and we were ready for the driving rain.
The weather was such crap, that we decided to take it easy rather than walk into town. We headed to the Auld Hoose…a spot that I had found during my last stay here. We had a lovely night watching the students, dogs and locals mix. A couple of pints for me and a couple of soda’s for Moe and we headed back for a game of “Who can stay away until 9″. I don’t know who won. I woke at 10pm in one chair and Moe was asleep in the other. We’ll call it a draw.
The morning has dawned cool, but sunny in Edinburgh. That’s a good sign for a wonderful day.
It seems that every five years, I get the bug to travel. I know…I travel a lot for work. But personal travel is different.
I relax. I unwind and recharge. This time, I’ve even unplugged…from work anyway.
Once that five year urge comes on, I start to plan for the following year.
This time around, I’ve managed 4 weeks. Just Moe and I, with periodic meetups with friends along the way.
We’re sitting at YVR now, have just seen off Terry and Claudia Boorman and Roy and Karen Leeson who will fly 30 minutes ahead to smooth out the bumps. We’ll see the Leesons again in 10 days or so.
We’re packed and ready to go!
It’s that time of the year again.
Time to head to the Arctic to do some high volume water and sediment sampling in the Beaufort Sea.
I’ve been doing this for three years now and the Arctic never gets old for me. So far, each year has given new adventures and different experiences.
The first year, everything was new. Ice breaking, midnight sun and a whole new world. The second year was a few weeks later and while there was no ice to speak of, I saw new parts of the NWT that I’d never seen.
This year is later still and night has returned to the North and I’m hoping that I’ll get a chance to see the Northern Lights.
You can follow along. As much of my work is in remote parts of the world, I buy a new toy to help keep in touch with the outside world. The Spot Connect uses a GPS receiver and Globalstar Transmitter to send short messages and my location to groups of emails that I’ve predefined. It also has an SOS button that when pushed, will notify authorities that I need help. You can follow me at http://tinyurl.com/spotfergus or on the link over there———>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I flew up here this morning to travel out to a Met Tower that’s located in the middle of Hecate Strait.
Naikun Met Tower
The tower has been in place for last two or three years and is collecting data to evaluate the location’s suitability for a wind farm. We have been contracted to provide some routine and emergency service over that time frame to keep the system up and running.
One of the problems with that location that makes our job harder is that it’s well…windy a lot of the time.
We arrived in Masset mid morning, met our contact and made sure that all of our gear was in place and ready to go. Another problem with the location…is the location. You want to make darn sure that you have everything that you’re going to need before you climb that 60 foot tower 10 miles offshore.
When we were happy that we were ready, we set off exploring the area. Masset is located near the North East corner of Haida Gwaii. There is a road that runs from Masset eastward along the shore. The road turns from pavement to gravel, then winds its way through the ancient forests. The forest floor on either side of the road is covered in a mossy carpet. The trees hang heavy with mosses that drip from the branches.
A Decent Proposal
When we reached the end of the road, miles and miles of sandy beach stretched for as far as the eye could see to the east. We walked along the beach and I spotted a couple on one of the logs. It appeared that was kneeling down in front of her. Then she opened something and they embraced. They saw us watching, she showed us the ring and we applauded and gave them the thumbs up.
My B&B is tucked into the waters edge overlooking the fishing boats. This particular B&B is run by Susan Musgrave. It is full of her books and the art of her husband, Stephen Reid. The guest book reads like a who’s who of the Canadian Literary world. Pierre and Maggie spent some time here as well.
Just another day at the office.