So here I am, a NASA scientist working on a drilling rig. People have asked, “Why does NASA care about the ocean crust?” Well, one of the things NASA is interested in is detecting signs of present or past life on other worlds. Places like Mars and Europa are difficult to reach, and will require some drilling in order to get to the subsurface, where we might find living organisms. Likewise, the bottom of the ocean is an extremely difficult place to get to. Being part of efforts to identify and study life living in the deep ocean subsurface will help us understand what kinds of tools we might need to do similar things on places like Mars and Europa.
I am here with an experimental tool that is designed to look for microbes inside of boreholes using a laser. This instrument will be part of a tool string sent down Hole 395A. Yesterday, we completed our final tests before deployment. Now, we are waiting for the CORK at 395A to be removed so we can commence logging operations.