Our rainy weather continues here in the eastern Pacific, and Alvin stayed aboard the Atlantis for some maintenance today. As the Alvin team inspected the sub this morning, they discovered an O-ring in need of replacement in a valve for the variable ballast system, which helps fine-tune Alvin‘s buoyancy.
To get the job done, the Alvin team released the water and pressurized air from the system so the valve could be removed. Tech and pilot-in-training Jefferson Grau took on the job of replacing the O-ring and testing the valve to get it back online. Then the team refilled and repressurized the system and checked it for leaks to get the sub ready for action tomorrow.
While Alvin was being worked on, the science team had a chance to regroup after the two big batches of samples they received from the earlier dives. Some took advantage of the day to get caught up on their sample processing. Happily, there was also some time to set up and test out the ping pong table in the main lab.
News from other corners of Atlantis: A few days ago, the ship’s dishwasher stopped working. With their usual grace under pressure, the stellar team in the galley (Carl Wood, Brendon Todd, and Janusz Mlynarski) continued to treat us all to amazing fare despite the hardship. And yesterday, our ace engineering department got the dishwasher up and running again. From everyone on board, thanks to all of you!