In his fifth report, Astrobiology Magazine’s Expeditions Editor, Henry Bortman, provides a first-hand account of what it’s like to camp on the shores of Chile’s Laguna Negra during the 2011 Planetary Lake Lander Expedition. Like a woodwind chorus, native birds ring in the dawn, Bortman surveys the lay of the land – from bolder fields to to icy glaciers that surround the lake.

The Planetary Lake Lander (PLL) team has traveled to remote Laguna Negra in the central Andes of Chile to test technologies that could one day be used to explore the lakes of Titan. The project is led by Principal Investigator Nathalie Cabrol of the NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute, and is funded by the NASA Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) program.