RU 29, Challenger, is back in the water after the completion of the South Atlantic Circumnavigation for our next mission: to go from Perth, Australia to Sri Lanka, to South Africa and back to Australia over the course of the next 3 years.
Prior to deployment, the lab at University of Western Australia had a number of esteemed visitors to see RU29 off before she began the mission. For good luck, the group re-christened the glider Challenger (RU29) with Indian Ocean water at the University of Western Australia’s glider port before deployment on its first leg of a planned Indian Ocean circumnavigation.
L to R: Chip Haldeman, Rutgers glider pilot; Nick D’Adamo, Head – Perth Programme Office of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and IOC IIOE-2 Coordinator; Scott Glenn, Rutgers Professor; Charitha Pattiaratchi, University of Western Australia Professor; Dr. Christopher Back, Liberal Senator for Western Australia and Chair, Senate Foreign Affairs, Defense & Trade Legislation Committee; and Dennis Stanley, UWA Glider Pilot. On board the glider are flags from participating nations, including the United States, Australia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Spain, Germany, Brazil and South Africa, plus a challenge coin from NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan.
The glider was deployed out of Perth on Nov 4th by Chip and Scott from Rutgers and Chari from University of Western Australia while shore support was provided by teams at UWA and Rutgers.
UWA produced the following video to support the mission:
For the latest information on the Challenger Mission, check out the Mission Blog