Today we accepted delivery of Nomad and all its parts! Like a big piece of luggage, Nomad was practically mummified in plastic shrink-wrap. But except for a few minor scrapes and bruises, it seems to have survived intact.
We spent the morning and early afternoon transporting Nomad and our equipment from the airport north of the city into the army base just south of the city center. The army has provided us with an enclosed quonset hut with concrete floor, tables, lights, and electricity, which gives us a good opportunity to inventory equipment, outfit Nomad, check calibrations, and prepare for deployment. When we leave the base in a day or two, Nomad will be structurally complete.
People are quite curious about Nomad. We are working at the open end of the hut to take advantage of the daylight, and throughout the day we receive small numbers of visitors from the base, whom we greet but rarely converse (since Chilean team member Alex is often busy elsewhere). But everyone is quite friendly and helpful, most of them have asked us if we need anything more.
Further language adventures abound. Four of us had breakfast without Alex, so when three of us asked for pan dulce ("sweet bread", the best description of a pastry I could come up with), we ended up eating pineapple cake for breakfast. And when I went shopping for some equipment spares, practically noone understood my request for aire comprimido (compressed air, air in a can, used for cleaning optical surfaces). Although I'm sure I could find someone willing to sell me air in a can, cheap.
For tomorrow, we look forward to bringing electrical subsystems up and testing them. And on Friday, we look forward to being joined by Hans Thomas, a representative of NASA Ames' Intelligent Mechanisms Group.
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Last Modified on: Wed Jun 25, 1997