Situation Report #16, 4. January 2020

Little Dome C - Beyond EPICA Drilling Site (75.29917 degS, 122.44516 degE)

Personnel: Saverio Panichi (ENEA), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Luc Piard (CNRS), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe), Massimo Frezzotti (U Roma 3), Riccardo Devescovi (Armi)

Weather: cloudy am, sunny pm, no wind

Today was another fine working day with ideal conditions. At the drilling tent, adjustments to the hull were made in order to have the correct placement of the hull. This required the application of temporary straps in the interior. The entire hull was then fixed at the floor frame. Careful planning was needed to install the main doors because cutting away pieces of the hull is irreversible.

Today was a momentous day at the Radix site. During the morning various drill configurations were tried out. While the clogging problem that haunted us for three days was finally solved, we struggled to get grip of the drill head in the ice. Instead several runs brought to the surface small shards of the casing. Finally, a reduced drill without the rotary union produced grip in the ice and pulled downward just before dinner. After a few minutes we could welcome to the surface freshly cut ice chips of about 1-2 mm size. The first 50 cm have been successfully drilled, and we are all celebrating this success tonight. 

LDC, 4.1.2020