SATURDAY, 7 JUNE 97, Antofagasta Chile:

Nomad is making headlines in several Chilean newspapers these days. Nomad appeared on the front page of the Antofagasta edition of El Mercurio on Friday and Saturday, and the headline above appeared on the front page of an English newspaper here. The articles have been quite reasonable, except that everyone seems to be convinced that we're actually going to the Moon or Mars right after the Desert Trek. This is in spite of our best efforts to point out that Nomad is a *prototype* Lunar Rover, intended to demonstrate advanced new technologies. But we don't mind the publicity.

Most of today was spent shipping equipment from Antofagasta to our campsite in the Atacama Desert. Our sleeping containers were delivered, and the first truckload of supplies arrived in the late afternoon. The Codelco mining company is allowing us to share facilities with one of their mining camps, and the folks in the field have been quite helpful during this transition time. We expect to ship Nomad and most of the rest of our supplies on Sunday.

Nomad is moving again! We tested the mechanical and electrical systems by driving up a slope and over some small rocks. We are being cautious with the generator, only running it for short periods, since it has been modified for high altitude use. But sometime Sunday, Nomad will drive itself out of the building, up the steet, and over a ramp into our flatbed truck.

Although Nomad is functional, we will be spending much of our time tuning systems prior to starting the Desert Trek. Saturday was spent tuning the power system in its new configuration. We connected a new battery up to the generator, spent some time getting it running (several issues with the fuel pump delayed initial operations), and tried a few configurations with our Uniterrupted Power Supplies.

Sunday will be the big moving day, when Nomad and everything else gets shipped to the desert.

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Last Modified on: Wed Jun 25, 1997