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:
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.
A visitor this morning
Home sweet home
Most scientist at the Paranal Observatory work night shifts therefore people have to be quite in the building during the day. However with the rover we are working during the day, and we needed more space too so ESO kindly let us use to “Bond Cabins” that are at the edge of the site, and give us direct access to our assembly and integration area. The curious names comes from the time when the field crew of the Bond movie Quantum of Solace stayed at Paranal and needed the extra accommodation. Luckily they kept the cabins afterwards. We are not sure yet who will get cabin 07…
A garden in the driest desert
Any fan of Frank Herbert’s Dune will appreciate how difficult it is to maintain a wet garden on the middle of the desert, but the Paranal Observatory has this lovely space to relax in. And yes, that is a small pool hidden behind the trees. If you are working in the field in below 10% humidity and strong sunshine all day that is a must. By the way speaking of Dune, did we mention we are going out in the desert with a geologist and his native guide on Thursday?
First glimpse of the Observatory
Once the road climbs over the costal ridge the Paranal Observatory can be seen for the first time. The hotel and other supporting buildings are still hidden but VISTA telescope is can be seen on the right side of the image.
Advance team’s final approach to Antofagasta
The advance team’s goal is to map some of the suitable sites for the trial and to transfer some data back to the remote control centre which is similar to what a real Mars rover’s team would get from the orbiting satellite and descend module imagery. The advance team will also set up some of the infrastructure for the main team such as internet access in the middle of the Atacama!
On the final approach to Antofagasta airport the team managed to take some pictures of the Paranal Observatory from the aeroplane:
The team is meeting the a local geology expert Guillermo Chong tonight and head up to the observatory tomorrow morning.