Thursday was our last day in the field, and our science teams had only a few morning hours to wrap up their investigations. Becca, Ruby, Sarah, and John were sent out to gather the last bits of data and cached samples for each team. By mid-morning, the science teams had most of the data they wanted to collect, and were spending the bulk of their time drawing strat columns and refining their interpretations. Meanwhile, the rovers and instruments “recharged their solar cells” after several days of hard work.
As lunchtime approached and the science teams wrapped up their investigations, they sat down to debrief with Aileen and then compared their findings. The walkabout team was thoroughly amused with the linear team’s serendipitous discovery of the microbial mat, which led to many excellent discussions throughout the rest of the day. I’ll save the conclusions for the eventual paper, and will update this post with a link once it’s published.
After the official end of investigation by the science teams, the group sat down for lunch and discussion time. The Tiger team brought out their returned samples and the no-longer-sequestered science teams got their first peek at what was really in the field site.
After lunch, each science team gave a summary of their findings to the group, followed by the detailed Tiger team findings. We were all pleased to see that overall, both science teams did an excellent job of characterizing the general geology in the field site, with only minor differences.
After lunch and the presentation of science team findings, it was time for the group to wander across the street to the field site so the science teams could finally see things with their own eyes. The Tiger team, rovers, and “instruments” were also along to point out locations they had sampled, and things they never saw. There were many laughs, shaking heads, and exasperated “if onlys,” but overall, the science teams had both done an excellent job with the tools they had.
After the site tour, the team broke camp and headed into town for dinner. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the dinner conversation, as well as washing their hands with actual soap. After dinner, the team parted ways – to be reunited again next year.
Other 2016 GHOST rover posts: