6 June...things seem to be continuing to hum quietly at Pole, for mostly good reasons. The auroras have been spectacular. Further north...Anthony Bourdain's Antarctica show aired (for the first time), and there was a McMurdo Memorial Day tribute, news about the McM winter flights, and info from the May Antarctic Treaty meeting in Beijing. And I also finally sort of finished the definitive details about LAST June's medevac (news).
19 April...so what's happening at Pole NOW? Find out more for yourself...here are a number of links to winterover Polie blogs.
12 April...the station is in nautical twilight, and the first auroras have been sighted. And the newly upgraded South Pole Telescope is looking a bit further away, part of a worldwide hunt for black hole images.
26 March...the equinox has passed. And the sun has disappeared as well.
10 March...a certain former Antarctic research vessel is now sitting on the bottom of the Palix River estuary at Bay Center, Washington, 40 miles north of Astoria, Oregon, and the Coast Guard hired a contractor which has been hard at work dealing with the leaking fuel and oil. Some of the details are out about that Antarctic auction the first weekend in April. No specifics yet on the pieces of the dome they are selling off for scrap. And there's news about the first bit of the McMurdo master plan that may actually happen.
1 March...Pole is quiet, but there is lots of ice news from elsewhere...another cruise ship medevac via McMurdo, icebreaker procurement activity, and a highly recommended book by two 2001 winterover Polies.
16 February...the last Herc for 8-1/2 months headed north on the 15th, leaving behind 46 folks for the winter! Stay tuned...
8 February...ONE week before Pole station closing. The McMurdo shipping season is over, and at Pole the summer folks are leaving...the South Pole Telescope team has achieved first light on their massive detector update...and it is getting colder. Elsewhere, a cruise ship passenger who had a stroke was evacuated to McMurdo and was being flown to Christchurch on the scheduled C-17. The Nathaniel B. Palmer has departed McMurdo...replaced by the cargo vessel Ocean Giant...which has now also departed, since replaced by the tanker Maersk Peary. Also, updates about the new Pole marker...and construction and demolition in the old construction/summer camp area. The NGO season is over for Pole, although Mike Horn is still traveling north from Pole toward Dumont d'Urville.
15 December...the first of three traverses arrived from McMurdo in the past week. And there are some new Polie blog links out there...
86-year-old Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, was medevaced from Pole after arriving as a tourist. He was flown out of Pole on 1 December and reached Christchurch on the morning of 2 December.
25 November...the new Phoenix runway is now officially certified for use by C-17 aircraft...and a slightly smaller aircraft overflew Pole earlier in November.
The first transiting Basler arrived on 11 October...and the opening Pole flights from McMurdo were Baslers on 27 and 29 October; the first Herc didn't show up until 2 November. And things are still a bit hehind...Robert Schwarz has been stuck at Pole for more than a week after he was supposed to leave. Elsewhere...literary folks (Kim Stanley Robinson) and politicos (Secretary of State John Kerry, the highest ranking American leader) visited McMurdo, and a University of Maine glaciologist perished in a crevasse at the shear zone. Oh, there's an expanded list of prospective nongovernmental visitors to Pole this summer.
9 October...many of the winterover Polies will be in Estes Park, CO this week for team building stuff, followed by fire and medical training. And the Kenn Borek transit flights from Rothera are also scheduled for this week.
24 September. The sun is up! A new medical cooperative project between NASA and USAP has been announced. And we hopefully have the final closure on the Al Baker murder conviction appeals.
7 September...the twilight is about to block out the last brightest stars. Before that happened, a huge igloo was constructed in front of the station...and then made to go away, but not before a number of folks slept in it overnight. And about eight or nine years before the current USAP support contract with Lockheed-Martin is scheduled to expire, they're out, and Leidos is in.
30 July...yes, the medevac was a success, the GOES-3 satellite was decommissioned (coinciding with the official announcement that the DSCS-3 satellite is in use), and, well, the winter night is almost over, as moonlight and twilight are soon to be on the horizon.
27 April...it is winter and dark at Pole. There are things happening...a new Phoenix Airfield at McMurdo...the replacement BIF at Pole...some new website/blog links, and an extensive new list of planned 2016-17 nongovernmental visitors. News....
16 February...the closing flight did happen, leaving behind 48 folks. 15 February it tried, and boomeranged, as visibility was too poor for a landing.
Want an Antarctic job? On this page I've provided everything you need to know about (or at least where to find) how to get a job...updated frequently...and of course after the contract change to Leidos.
The dome is gone. And the most comprehensive web collection of dome deconstruction photos is here! And the message boards are still around...stop by the new home of Mike Poole's Antarctic Memories, which now includes the archives of Glenn Grant's Iceboard. If you have questions or problems with this excellent resource...the best place for info on jobs and life on the ice, ask me for help!
My second winter was in 2005 as the Title II Inspector (huh, what's that?)...and stayed on for a month after the 21 October station opening until the summer person showed up. I returned to the US on 21 January after 2 months in NZ/OZ. Hopefully before I left I wasn't too toasty to write a feature article for the 30 October 2005 Antarctic Sun..... Read it for yourself and decide...
More news updated 6 June.
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