Phaeton missions are projects that we conduct to a set of standard operating procedures. When a project is given the PX rating of mission class, it has priority and must be run "by the book." Phaeton Group does many things, at various levels of engagement. Missions we take most seriously. They command our focused attention and our fullest commitment to the professional accomplishment of the objectives we take on. More information on Phaeton Mission Standards.
The Phaeton Ice Corps takes to the field aboard a Canadian icebreaker--in fact, the largest icebreaker in the Canadian fleet--to investigate first-hand the unprecedented melting that in 2007 fully opened the legendary Northwest Passage for the first time.
The legendary "Nazi flying wing" was the target of this Phaeton Group field mission. David West Reynolds and a team of five Phaeton investigators check out this famously restricted war trophy, the only surviving turbojet flying wing from Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.
The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington D.C. afforded a Phaeton team special access to the Sea Shadow, a sea-going counterpart to the F-117A stealth fighter. Both vehicles were conceived by the famous Skunk Works at Lockheed. Phaeton boards the Sea Shadow inside its extraordinary floating hangar for a closer look at this experimental technology.
Our Chief Paleontologist Dr. Michael J. Ryan calls in a Phaeton field team to help him uncover an unknown species of dinosaur in the Canadian badlands. From exploration to excavation and then into the bone preparation laboratory, this mission takes the Phaeton team through a complete program of dinosaur paleontology.
MISSIONS SCHEDULED FOR FUTURE POSTS
Lost Jungle City on East African Coast
In the 15th century Swahili culture fluorished along the equatorial coast of East Africa, giving rise to trading cities whose architecture reflected the blend of Arab and Bantu culture that is the fusion of Swahili. One of these cities was known as Gedi. A Phaeton expedition probed Gedi's jungle-shrouded ruins, and examined the mystery of why this substantial city is strangely invisible in Portugues records of the time. The project resulted in an article for Archaeology magazine, and our rare photographs of the site have been published in the World Book Encyclopedia. We will post an expanded version of the Archaeology article.
Mojave Space Launch
First Private Spacecraft Reaches Edge of Space
Phaeton was there in Mojave, Southern California, when Burt Rutan's White Knight carrier plane took SpaceShipOne aloft for its first full-power launch. With Mike Melvill at the controls, the small spacecraft dropped from White Knight and ignited its revolutionary hybrid engine to blast upward 62 miles high. Our coverage resulted in a cover article for Space Times, the magazine of the American Astronautical Society. We'll be posting that article here on the Phaeton web site.
Ice Age Cave
Prehistoric Death Trap in Unexplored Cave
A landowner's report of bones spotted deep in a cave pit sparked a Phaeton expedition to literally get to the bottom of the matter. Rappelling down into the shaft of the un-named and unexplored cave in the U.S. Midwest, David West Reynolds and Mark Spencer discovered what turned out to be a mass prehistoric grave site: a packed deposit of thousands of Ice Age animal bones. Their discovery led to a major ongoing excavation by the Indiana State Museum.