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. News!
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!
27 March (SP time)...more updates on the Nathaniel B. Palmer--currently en route from Palmer Station to PA. And the Polar Star has successfully returned to its Seattle home port.
25 March...updates on the Antarctic stations and the research vessels vs the coronavirus...the Palmer is heading to Palmer from Rothera...the Gould docked in Punta Arenas this weekend, and the Polar Star is west of southern California heading for its Seattle home port. Meanwhile, the socially isolated Polies had their sunset dinner!
18 March...the winter at Pole is well underway, but elsewhere in the world the coronavirus is having an effect on the U.S. Antarctic Program along with everything else. And there was a medevac from McMurdo last week!
16 February...Pole is no longer open as of the 15th. 42 souls are about to become their only "close" friends for the next 8-1/2 months!
7 February...about a week until Pole closes...I'm still busy and behind, but the shipping season is continuing apace as the tanker is about done unloading, the complete chronicle of the nongovernmental trekkers is available, and 2005 Pole winterover and astronaut Christina Hammock Koch has just returned from the International Space Station after 328 days in space!
27 January...I've been busy and traveling...more updates shortly. The new Pole marker was unveiled on New Years Day...the BICEP Array project is continuing successfully, the last of the NGO trekkers/skiers have arrived at Pole, and the ALE tourist camp has been closed. But...things have been happening at McMurdo...60th anniversary of the first Herc flights...the first cargo ship is well into offload...and there was a tragic military death from natural causes.
30 December...happy holidays! At Pole, people have been busy, and at Port Hueneme the first of two cargo vessels has loaded up and is heading south. And updates on the tanker and the Polar Star!
28 November...the Polar Star has departed Seattle for points south...folks are preparing for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, and other news!
22 November--it looks like all of the 2019 winterovers have headed north, at least from Pole, but not all of them have made it to Christchurch yet. Many of the new winterovers have shown up...and elsewhere on the continent (or in Punta Arenas) more nongovernmental travelers have been gathering and moving.
18 November...adventurer Colin O'Brady just announced that he plans a 6-man ROWBOAT trip across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula in December!
14 November...the summer season at Pole is well underway, and most of the 2019 winterovers have left. The news includes info on the first LC-130 flight of the season as well as the details on the nongovernmental trekkers/skiers/pilots who will be visiting this summer.
31 October (Happy Halloween!)...the first Basler flights from McMurdo have happened, summer people are arriving and a few of the winterovers are in New Zealand already (!). The Polar Star is finally back at its Seattle homeport, and many of the 2020 winterovers were in Colorado for training in October.
20 October: the first transiting Kenn Borek aircraft (a Basler) stopped at Pole briefly to refuel (and leave freshies) on 15 October...also during this past week was a spacewalk by two women who are Antarctic veterans, and a "Women in Antarctica" symposium at Ohio State. And...there's a bit of shipping news.
16 September...it is ozone season at Pole, and it seems there is a bit more ozone overhead than in previous years. Also...the Polies had a video conference with the international space station, and there is more icebreaker news about the Polar Star as well as the planned replacements.
2 September...WINFLY first flight finally happened 13 days late, as well as news about a Polie reunion in Michigan...new station proposals by several nations...stuff from the latest Antarctic Treaty meeting.
28 August...spring is coming to Pole, and WINFLY is NOT coming to McMurdo...as usual, Mother Antarctica's weather continues to intervene.
25 July...many more updates on upcoming McMurdo and Pole projects, midwinter info, and a strange overflight of Pole in early July.
22 June (or 21 June in the United States) is the solstice, otherwise known in Antarctica as Midwinters Day! Time to celebrate! Also there's a bit of news about the upcoming science support and construction season.
18 May...there is new information about the "Polar Security Cutter" aka "Icebreaker" procurement, and the South Pole Telescope's participation in that historic black hole image. And...it's aurora time at Pole, but back in the US of A, contracts has been awarded for a new heavy icebreaker, as well as future USAP helicopter support.
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 29 November.
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