I’m sure many of you are back in school, or will be very soon. So, as you get into the swing of things, I just wanted to remind you that the Scarlet Knight Glider still continues her quest to cross the Atlantic.
Here’s a quick update on her progress:
- The glider has now been at sea for over 128 days and has travelled over 5,500 km.
- This means, RU27 has now broken the distance record set last year by RU17 when it attempted to cross the Atlantic.
- After 3 months at sea, and without specifically trying, RU27 passed within 1 mile of the last known location of RU17, though because RU27 is a faster glider it got there a lot quicker and travelled a far straighter path.
- A few weeks ago, RU27 started having a lot of trouble steering. To help diagnose the problem, and to learn what kinds of biology might be growing on her after such a long time at sea, a team from Rutgers flew to the islands of the Azores to pay the glider a visit. After several days at sea, they met up with RU27, and without removing her from the water, took some pictures and cleaned her up. After that, she was flying again as good as new.
- And most importantly, RU27 recently crossed the 2/3rds mark. That means, we’re now in the final stretch of her voyage. But there are still several more hurdles to get through, including continued biological encounters, an unpredictable hurricane season, and the frigid waters of the Eastern Atlantic. And of course, we have to have enough battery power to last the rest of the voyage.
So, that’s where we are today. If you haven’t had a chance to follow along recently, don’t forget you can keep checking the Atlantic Crossing site for regular updates, or you can subscribe to the glider’s Twitter or Facebook feeds.
And for those of you interested in detailed updates on the mission, you can read and subscribe to the Scientist’s blog as well.
Finally, as you set out your lesson plans for the coming months, here are a few ideas on how you can incorporate the voyage of RU27 into your classrooms.
We hope you have as much fun with your students following the adventure of the Scarlet Knight as we do piloting her. With luck, we’ll all be celebrating her success by the end of the year.
Here’s to the continued adventure of the Scarlet Knight!
Sage, Rutgers University
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