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Sev talks about SAFER at Paranal

Sev talks about SAFER at Paranal

Just before we left Sev (RAL Space) the project manager of SAFER gave a talk to people at the Paranal Observatory. There were some projector problems in the beginning so the recording starts rather suddenly. Also once again sorry about the quality the light levels at ESO have to be kept low and we were not equipped for low light recording. Anyway enjoy the talk:

Intermission – The Atacama

After the post on Guillermo’s talk we felt that we should share a bit more about the location of the SAFER trials the Atacama desert. Gerd Hudepohl from ESO has used the chance of working within this amazing place to document some of the most interesting and amazing parts with his skills in photography. We invite you to visit his website and look at his gallery to see more of Chile, the Atacama, life in the Atacama and the Paranal Observatory:

And to find out even more, there is a nice piece on youtube about the Atacama:

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.

ESO publication on SAFER project

ESO has published a news article on the SAFER trials. Note that this was the second trial in the Atacama, about one and a half year ago a different consortium completed the SEEKER long range navigation trials not far from where SAFER operated. For the ESO publication please visit the ESO website:

Large crowd gathers to see Bridget off

Large crowd gathers to see Bridget off

It is time for Bridget to leave after many long hard days out in the desert. But this last day is the day for celebration and many people from the Paranal Observatory gather to watch Bridget’s last traverse before she needs to go back in the shipping crate.

Paranal staff gathers to see the rover. Even the chef is there!

Paranal staff gathers to see the rover. Even the chef is there!

Bridget is awake in the Atacama

Bridget is awake in the Atacama

In the background Bridget's home the Firetrack's shed

Bridget during shakedown tests before the start of the trials (image credit: Mark Woods – Scisys)

The Atacama is an excellent representation of Mars (or as scientists call it an “analog” for Mars) however it is more or less on the other side of Earth from the UK. For the long trip Bridget needed to be taken apart and shipped as components. Before the SAFER trials could begin Bridget had to be reconstructed and tested to make sure everything is in place. Now Bridget is awake and after some coffee (for the operators) she is ready to explore the surrounding of the Paranal Observatory.

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…

3rd of October

3rd of October

Today the team headed off at first sunlight to explore the desert and identify the best of the potential trial sites. Stay tuned for updates later today or tomorrow morning…

Setting up Wi-Fi, on the top of the world

Setting up Wi-Fi, on the top of the world

Bridget arrives to Paranal

Bridget arrives to Paranal