Oct. 22: Better Seas…and the Elevator
After much worry about the weather forecast, the sea state did not build to 4 meters. In fact, it was about 2 meters, which is well within Jason’s launch capability. The crew, Jason group and scientists are all pleased that the launch happened today at 1830 local time without any problems during the pre-dive tests and the initial water tests when Jason went into the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The dive will last about 24 hours, but an ‘elevator’ will be used to recover some major samplers prior to the Jason returning to the surface. The elevator went to the bottom about six hours before the dive to a predetermined location. The Jason will pick it up and bring it to the hydrothermal vent sampling locations, then get the samples and send them back up to the surface where the scientists can start analyzing the samples sooner.
The Knorr’s crew is having much fun looking at all the video monitors in the main lab and the bridge. These monitors are similar to those in the Jason control van that the scientists use. Here the crew can see what Jason and the scientists are doing at the bottom of the ocean in real time. We’ll try to send a short video clip later.
Today we also sent down an in situ filtration unit that was built and designed by two Del Tech undergraduate students, Paul Spencer and Tyler Davidson, during the summer. They were advised by their teachers, Dr. Douglas Hicks and Mr. Brent Mitchell, under the University of Delaware’s NASA EPSCoR program and in consultation with George Luther. If the system is successful, the scientists will get some nanoparticles and larger particles from hydrothermal vent plumes for direct analysis. This is an example of collaboration between universities as well as scientists and engineers.