woensdag 26 november 2008

Further acquaintance with the San Francisco Bay Chapter grotto

Yesterday evening was the last Tuesday of the month, which meant another SFBC meeting was coming up. The annual grotto elections were held with all positions filled unanimously, something unheard of in many Belgian clubs ... ;-) No bitter election campaigns, heated discussions or people voting against. It was a painless affair and very quick, no time to get bored!

We were all looking forward to this month’s program which sounded very promising. Dave DesMarais of NASA Ames gave a very interesting talk with as subject “Exploring Mars for Evidence of Habitable Environments and Life”. The majority of those present seemed already rather well informed about the Mars expeditions, but for me it was an introduction into a whole new world.

He mainly talked about the Mars Rovers who were sent there to gather information about the past and present climate and gather evidence on the (past)(non-) presence of water and possibilities for sustaining life on Mars. He showed a cool animation showing the take off of the space shuttle, the landing on Mars (very bumpy with bounces more than a 100 m high, but a cushion of air bags protected the shell that contained the Rover!), the unfolding of the Rovers (think transformers!) and the start of their voyage. Check Wikipedia or YouTube for some more info or a cool animation!

Tomorrow morning we'll leave for our first caving trip, exploration in the Lava Beds National Monument. Looking forward to that!

Joke & Will

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