17 January...more updates about the NGO trekkers, summer construction projects, and Kelly Brunt's successful NASA science traverse! And given current news out of Washington DC, a look back at what happened to the US Antarctic program during the last government shutdown in October 2013. News!
6 January! Happy New Year! The summer season is more than half over, the construction projects and science efforts are going well, more of those NGO trekkers are showing up, and the newest South Pole marker has been unveiled.
11 December...the first South Pole traverse arrived last week. And now that enough flights have happened to get things back on schedule, the summer projects are getting started.
28 November--Now that Thanksgiving weekend is over, hopefully folks were flying north and south from McMurdo on Monday 27 November--
21 November...10 days since a Herc landed at Pole, although over the weekend a C-17 did conduct the annual practice airdrop over Pole. And it did land at McM on the way north and take waiting folks to Christchurch. Meanwhile, AL&E has been flying...they've been setting up the Pole tourist camp and have already dropped off some of the NGO trekkers. My updates on those folks are continuing here..
8 November...after a week without more flights, the second LC-130 arrived in late evening...now the majority of the 2017 winterovers are in McMurdo (or further north). And there's more news from Washington State...Al Baker, currently imprisoned for the rest of his life, has filed yet another appeal.
1 November...winter is over! The first Herc arrived today...before that, two Baslers showed up on Monday and Tuesday...the first of these brought the first 8 summer people. And more freshies.
26 October...and the transiting Basler and Twin Otter arrived on the 22nd...isolation is sort of almost over! The first Herc is scheduled for 1 November..."weather permitting." Meanwhile, Union Glacier is being set up, and the first NGO travelers to Pole are starting to head to Punta Arenas.
18 October...the Twin Otters could be arriving in a week...and the first LC-130 a week later...the first Herc should be in McMurdo by now. From Pole we have Robert Schwarz's 2017 Auroras highlights reel, not to mention Robert's podcast interview from this past July--and from Christchurch we have news of the unveiling of the repaired statue of Robert Falcon Scott.
10 September, catching up after some travel. There was a solar eclipse in August...and also one in January 1990 visible (partial) from Pole. The sky is lightening, and we know what comes next.
21 July--lots of news from Pole as well as further north in Antarctica where an iceberg the size of Delaware (well, that's the comparison American sites have been using) broke off of the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula. On 18 July the New York Times published a detailed article titled "Where Else does the U.S. Have an Infrastructure Problem? Antarctica." Hmmm. And at Pole...the fast DSCS satellite has returned to service, and the South Pole Winter Games were held over 2 weeks in early July.
1 July...yes, Midwinters Day was celebrated appropriately at Pole, and several days later several of us 2004 and 2005 winterovers had a small celebratory reunion in Denver.
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.
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.
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 17 January.
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