16 June...I have been busy but so have the Polies...dealing with images from outer space (the recent lunar eclipse and the black hole at the center of our galaxy), satellite communication or lack thereof, planning for winter fun and games...including unicycle riding. I've also updated my information on nongovernmental Antarctic ventures as well as the Antarctic jobs page. News!
22 March...The most significant Antarctic news in years has to be the discovery of Shackleton's sunken ship Endurance! Otherwise, it's winter at Pole, it's been unseasonably warm at Vostok, and internet connectivity has recently improved at McMurdo!
Pole closed for the winter leaving 44 people behind, which means there are new South Pole Winterover Statistics! Other news including the Pole marker unveiling...3 supply vessels at McMurdo as well as the Polar Star.
27 December...lots of stuff happening in the last month! The nearly total solar eclipse at Pole...construction of the new satellite earth station at McMurdo...the first LC-130 landing since 2019-20...trekkers, skiers and motorcyclists heading to Pole.
26 November...summer at Pole is fully underway, although none of the NYANG LC-130s have made it south from Christchurch to McMurdo yet. And a bunch of nongovernmental ventures are heading to Pole after last year's coronavirus cancellations.
4 November 2021...I've been remiss about updating things for various reasons...but Pole is open...some winterovers are already back in the States, the 2021 season at Palmer is now well underway! And...more flights to Pole...coronavirus vaccines...and my coverage of the nongovernmental Antarctic ventures (yes, there are some this year)!
21 October! McMurdo main body is filling up that place, and Pole is getting ready for opening after welcoming the first Basler for refueling. And the summer support folks have landed at Palmer, ending the isolation of the 2021 winterovers.
3 October...the sun is up at Pole, folks are deploying...er...quarantining/isolating before deploying, and the various support contractors are still hunting for folks to hire. But the big news of the day is that this past winter at Pole has been the coldest recorded ever...or at least since Paul Siple's 1957 winter when things started to get recorded. Meanwhile, the station opening tasks are well underway.
16 August...the first group of the WINFLY folks have arrived at McMurdo after about a month of travel, isolation, and delays...although mechanical issues meant that the aircraft took no passengers north. Stay tuned. Also...an update on the Pole midwinter dinner and celebration!
18 July. The WINFLY folks are now arriving in Christchurch for at least 2 weeks more of official quarantine...there was a medevac from McMurdo last weekend...and this is now the last bit of extreme darkness at Pole before the Moon and astronomical twilight intervene.
16 June...things continue to be quiet at Pole, although preparations for Midwinters Day are continuing, and the temperature finally got down into triple digits!
7 May...things are quiet at Pole two weeks before Midwinters Day and all that means...but there was a job fair in Denver (well, virtual) this week for the upcoming season...winterovers are arriving at Palmer Station this weekend, and next summer there will be not much Palmer science as the new pier will be being constructed.
14 April...time for the updated winterover statistics! Better late than never! Also...a couple of end of summer photos!
25 February...winter is happening at Pole. The last Basler flight took out the last of the summer folks late in the evening of 17 February...leaving behind the smallest crew of winterovers since 1998, before the elevated station construction began!
16 February...almost time to close the station...the first C-17 flight to McMurdo of the austral fall season has happened...the Coast Guard icebreaker Healy is back in its snowy Seattle home port, and we have the first announcements of the NEXT USAP support contract rebid.
22 January! Here are updates from Pole including a look at the new South Pole marker!
28 December...two sad updates: More COVID-19 on King George Island...and the vaunted delivery of the new Vostok modules to Antarctica is not happening because Russia's nuclear cargo vessel Sevmorput lost a screw blade in the Gulf of Guinea.
25 December South Pole time...Merry Christmas! The Australian medevac has been successfully completed...the coronavirus has arrived on the Antarctic mainland (fortunately far away from any other research station) and there is lots of other news.
29 November...more flights to Pole have happened...the northbound winterovers are stuck in McM for this weekend, and otherwise, the USAP summer season such as it is has started to happen.
19 November: Pole winter is over, after (guess what) weather at Pole delayed the first flight until the 18th! And the USAP summer season is well underway...considering that pesky pandemic!
10 November...the Polies should be heading south from McMurdo this week...the Polar Star is headed to the Arctic this year as the Healy is laid up...and much more info about aircraft...the traverse.
29 October: yet another cohort of USAP folks are flying south from Christchurch to McMurdo...this group includes a number of Pole summerers and 2021 winterovers. More info and news about the Weddell Sea science project teams who are scheduled to arrive at Punta Arenas aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer on 2 November
8 October...much more news about how the upcoming USAP season is shaping up to be very different from any previous years.
25 September: the sun has been sighted at Pole, WINFLY ops at McMurdo are completed, the first cohort of main body folks are in quarantine in Christchurch, and the Nathaniel B. Palmer is on the move!
9 September...the efforts to dig out and prepare the McMurdo runway are continuing...the folks in ChCh are still quarantined until at least the 14th! And, they'll be further quarantined when they eventually get to McMurdo. AND--full coverage of the new Vostok Station that has been test built and will be shipped south this season!
7 September: summer is coming to Antarctica...the glimmer of the Sun is visible at Pole, and the WINFLY folks hoping to head to McMurdo have been quarantined for a month in several places waiting for flights south...put off by a massive McM storm. And there's a fair bit of good and bad icebreaker news, not to mention a sneak peak at the new Vostok which is being shipped south this season.
9 August...the first folks who will head to McM for WINFLY--USAF and USAP, have arrived in Christchurch where they will be doing you-know-what for 14 days.
6 August...it has been chilly at Pole this past week...meaning it has hovered below 3 digits. And...there are updates on the plans for the 2020-21 season, and some of the WINFLY folks have already started to travel.
19 July...the latest news is that construction is well underway on the latest and greatest ice pier at McMurdo!
24 June update on some sadder news from Antarctica. A fire at Russia's Mirny Station on 21 June (UTC) destroyed a major lab building, although no one was injured. An then there's the cook at Vernadsky (the Ukraine station 30 miles south of Palmer) who committed suicide on 8 May local time. Last week after leaving Palmer Station, the Laurence M. Gould called at Vernadsky to transport the body north.
Happy Midwinters Day...which happened on 20 June with appropriate celebrations! The Palmer winterovers finally arrived in time to celebrate, and USAP and the NZ program have announced their minimized plans for the 2020-21 season.
28 May...there continue to be great auroras at Pole, a bit more of a preliminary update on the 2020-21 USAP season...and the Nathaniel B. Palmer is hanging out in Humboldt Bay (CA) for awhile.
16 May: more updates on various Antarctic programs including those of Australia, India, and New Zealand...and the Nathaniel B. Palmer is continuing to sail north up the California coast.
30 April: NSF issued a new update this week on the status of the USAP as the COVID-19 challenges continue...and also an update on the research vessels and the Polar Star.
15 April...the first auroras have been sighted at Pole! Also, new updates on the coronavirus effects on people heading home from Antarctica!
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 16 June.
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