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SAFER team celebrate

SAFER team celebrate

The work is far from over, the study team will continue analysing data and publishing results but for now the field trial part of the trial is over. Both the Atacama team and RCC celebrates the end of the successful trials.

credit: Gerd Hudepohl (ESO)

credit: Gerd Hudepohl (ESO)

note: this in not the entire RCC team credit: Lorraine Moody (Catapult)

note: this in not the entire RCC team
credit: Lorraine Moody (Catapult)

No burst tyres, dust devils or bears can stop these teams.

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A visitor this morning

A visitor this morning

We had a surprise visitor during breakfast today. Even this dry desert is full of life. credit: Elie Allouis ‎(Astrium)

We had a surprise visitor during breakfast today. Even this dry desert is full of life.
credit: Elie Allouis ‎(Astrium)

Sweeping the desert

Sweeping the desert

Michel and Andy sweeping the desert. credit: Sev Gunes-Lasnet (RAL Space)

Michel and Andy sweeping the desert. credit: Sev Gunes-Lasnet (RAL Space)

Sweeping the dusty Atacama might seem like a futile effort but these sweepers are not removing dust, but removing tyre tracks and footprints, all to preserver the site and not to give out any clues to RCC by accident.

A bear!

A bear!

As if dust devils wouldn’t be enough, we have also spotted a bear in the distance about 100 meters in the direction Bridget is heading!

The bear

While the picture only shows a play of shadows we dedicate this post to the threatened spieces that live in South America in the Andes Mountains the spectacled bear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectacled_bear

Intermission – Guillermo Chong talks about chile

Intermission – Guillermo Chong talks about Chile

We were lucky with the timing of our trial as Guillermo Chong gave a presentation on Chile yesterday at the Paranal Observatory and the SAFER team was invited. Even better news is that we recorder the presentation and uploaded it to youtube so you can watch it too! The recording quality is not great but the presentation is really interesting:

The Beast is dead, long live the Beast

The Beast is dead, long live the Beast

It is my duty to deliver the sad news that we won’t be getting back The Beast. It also had some battery problems and it will take longer to fix than anticipated. But instead we got a brand new Black Beast, with better off-road tyres and a roll-cage just in case. Long live the Black Beast!

As we received it from the airport in Antofagasta. Wayne, who is 2 meters tall standing next to it, looks kind of average size.

As we received it from the airport in Antofagasta. Wayne, who is 2 meters tall standing next to it, looks kind of average size.

Cabin 007

Cabin 007

They missed the trick there it should be 007

SAFER geologist Derek Pullan gets the Bond cabin 07

Ever since we got told we would be staying the Bond cabins at Paranal we were wondering who will be the lucky one who gets number 7. Now we now, our team geologist Derek Pullan from the University of Leicester is our secret agent. We still think the builders missed a trick and the room should be 007…