20 May 2009

We receive the last plane for the put-in period

Today?s plane needed fuel to leave camp.

Today’s plane needed fuel to leave camp.

Today we received the last plane with cargo for camp construction. Skier 71 arrived under the same weather conditions than on Monday; but the crew made it and we received precious cargo. From that point on, however, things went down-hill. We had 9,900 lbs cargo for Kangerlussuaq, e.g. empty pallets, old snowmobiles and rubbish from camp, and this was loaded on the plane. It was not the same plane as on Monday, and this plane simply refused to take off. It only succeeded after dumping all our cargo to get lighter. This was most annoying. Camp work continues to progress at a tremendous rate. 23 people accomplish a lot more than 11; but we also received help: Weather was really good all day.

What we have done today:

  1. Installing ventilation system in drill trench.
  2. Mounting EPICA drill and making ready for adding fluid into the hole.
  3. Cleaning in the main dome.
  4. Receiving Skier 71 with cargo. Our meteorology station now works well.
  5. Making inventory on arriving food.
  6. Work on water vapor sampling station.
  7. Made 4 retrograde cargo pallets ready.
  8. Excavating inclined trench into drill trench with snow blower.

Ad.1 and 2: This is how the drillers report looks today:
“The EPICA drill was assembled, mounted with the primary NEEM pressure tube and motor section, and lowered into the borehole. The new borehole accommodated the long drill to the bottom without a problem. Meanwhile the new drilling software was upgraded, tested, and will now be used to operate the drills. The old NGRIP software still functions as before and will be used as a backup. 350 liters of drilling liquid was prepared to be dumped into the borehole to begin wet drilling. However, the amount of Coasol (densifier) relative to Estisol (base liquid) was found to be greater than predicted to achieve the desired 935 kg/m3. Slight modifications by the manufacturer to the production of Estisol, which apparently has reduced both its density and its viscosity, seem to be the cause. An experiment is underway overnight to determine the proper mixing ratios of the two liquids before continuing.”

Weather: Cloudy with snow showers in the morning, later clearing, - 21 °C to -11 °C, 2-14 knots mainly from SSW, later SE.
Visibility: 3 km to unrestricted.

FL, J.P. Steffensen


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