Extraterrestrial Biology Department,
Ceres Expedition - Vacancies
There are still vacancies for personnel on the scientific and support team for the forthcoming expedition to Ceres, to be undertaken with the co-operation of the League of Nations Scientific Council.
Previous expeditions have found traces of organic compounds in ice samples, and seismology suggests that the interior of the asteroid consists in part of supercooled liquid water with chemical contaminants which prevent freezing. This has now been confirmed by the discovery of water-filled ice tunnel below crevasses CER-TK-13 and CER-TK-21. Echo sounding suggests that both tunnels are at least fifty meters wide and a minimum of several hundred meters long, with evidence of water flow as part of a larger tunnel system.
In view of this discovery the Institution has accelerated construction of the new SILGRS (Smithsonian Institution Low-Gravity Research Submarine), whose specification is attached, with the object of mounting an expedition to the interior of the asteroid at the earliest possible opportunity.
Applicants are expected to have a background in field biology and biochemistry, with an emphasis on cold marine and/or extraterrestrial environments, and expertise in at least one of the following areas:
• Deep sea diving using rigid and semi-rigid diving suits
• Operation of submarines and/or bathyspheres
• Engineering related to the above
• Underwater photography
If you are interested in participating please contact the department with details of your experience, academic background, etc., an outline of a research project you would undertake as part of the exploration of Ceres, and the names of two referees.
Successful applicants must be prepared to commit up to six months to the expedition, plus preliminary training, with analysis of results and follow-up after the return to Earth. The exact time requirement will be determined once construction and testing of the SILGRS craft is complete and transportation has been arranged.
Please note that preliminary testing will include medical and psychological evaluation. Referees may be contacted even if you are not short-listed.
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