Bill Whitaker traveled to the Geldingadalir valley in southwest Iceland. More than 30,000 earthquakes shook this southwest corner of Iceland. Some tremors lasted only a few seconds. Others clocked in at 5.4 on the Richter scale.
Volcanologists reported the world’s newest volcano had burst open, marking the first time in 800 years a volcanic eruption occurred on this strip of land. Scientists rushed to that area. Only 20 miles from Iceland capital Reykjavik, the ease of access provided a chance for scientists to collect data that is often lost at more hazardous or remote volcanic eruptions.
Christopher Hamilton is an associate professor of planetary sciences at the University of Arizona. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Iceland. He happened to be in the country on sabbatical and couldn’t believe his luck when the volcano erupted. Geldingadalir trying to unlock the secrets of the earth. Hamilton’s interests went far beyond this planet.
Hamilton also added that it is the perfect substitute for the rugged volcanic landscape found on Mars. With its barren icefields, huge lava fields, and constant volcanic activity, Hamilton said Iceland is the perfect test environment for the drone project. RAVEN is scheduled to be a three-year project. Christopher Hamilton’s team hopes to test a prototype by 2022 and to publish technological recommendations for NASA by 2023.