June 27, 2011
On June 23, the Healy’s main lab (above top) resembled a skeleton … the framework supporting the science of missions past, present and future.
By June 26, the main lab (above bottom) took on new life. Purposefully arranged on lab benches are systems to process water from the ocean and sea ice. They identify the water’s chemical constituents, count its phytoplankton, and store measurements of reflected and absorbed sunlight.
Setting up lab is a critical, early step to a successful mission. Did the instruments arrive in once piece? Do we have everything we need? Once at sea that drill bit or software update can make or break the five-week-long experiment. Finally there’s the pressure of having everything in place before reaching the first sampling station on June 27.
Like bees in a hive, scientists swarmed the lab and knew just what to do. Crates reached their destination via the ship’s cargo lift. Tape labels adorned empty glass bottles. Bungees hugged lab equipment tightly to shelves. Chaos become order.