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the NASA Haughton-Mars project
Artic Expedition Sets Out...
News story originally written on June 19, 1998
A 20-member team will leave for the Artic Circle on June 22nd. They are going to investigate the Haughton meteorite crater and its surroundings on Devon Island in the Artic circle.
Among other techniques, scientists will use a 160-pound autonomous helicopter...no pilot necessary! "The mission provides a great opportunity to demonstrate the feasibility and the value of robotic aircraft for mapping and surveying applications," said Dr. Omead Amidi from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.
Beyond testing this new helicopter, scientists are hoping that this expedition will yield insight for future Martian missions. You see, this crater site has similiar geologic features to those found on Mars. Drilling, mapping and investigating may shed light in particular on the early history of Mars, when the planet's climate may have been wetter and warmer.
Some interesting tidbits...the team members of the Haughton-Mars expedition will use all-terrain vehicles to get around Devon Island. They will also 'rent' two dogs to keep at the campsite...to ward off polar bears! The expedition is expected to end July 26th.
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