Friday, May 12, 2017

More inside the station pictures




The stars are out.

The station and a typical aurora. 

One of two station lounges. This one has a small kitchen because it is located in the emergency part of the station. Part of the station can be sealed off if we are required to evacuate the main station areas. 

This lounge contains the paperback library along with lots of board games and puzzles. 


VHS tapes.

DVD's


One of two TV lounges.

Betamax before VHS.


A second tv lounge.

A fine collection of tv series dvd's.

The music room.

The gym.

Sauna.

I dry my laundry in my room as it dries fast and adds a little humidity.

South Pole medical.

During the winter all windows are covered in cardboard. They are available for people to draw and paint on.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Bicycle ride presentation and a "run" to McMurdo

Winter life in the station continues to go well. Walking to the antennas is sometimes difficult in the decreasing temperatures, darkness and increasing snow drifts. The South Pole is the driest desert in the world and it does not snow here but the snow from the coasts drift to the polar plateau and pile up on the first resistance it finds which is the station and outlying smaller huts. Walking in the dark causes lots of stumbles and sometimes falls. Our small red headlamps make it difficult to see. On a clear day the sky is alive with stars and auroras which help to light the way. But on a windy snow blowing day it can be most difficult. I continue to enjoy this one of a kind adventure.

The 2017 Pole marker.

An almost everyday occurrence 24 hours a day - Aurora Australis. Photo credit: Martin Wolf.

It is getting cold.


Arriving in the station from a walk to the antennas.

Part of our duties is "house mouse" where teams of four clean the station as in bathrooms, passageways, and lounges. Today my team had the task of shoveling snow from the two main entrances and away from the eight emergency exit doors. I will be happy to once again clean the bathrooms next Saturday. 


A weekly menu. I enjoy the vegetarian options that are not listed. Two days a week we enjoy fresh greens from the growth chamber.



One hour Sunday travel presentations in the galley for five weeks.

There is the large screen plus several small monitors facing the other way.

I have had excellent turnouts the last two Sundays with almost the entire station present.

My last winier of 2013 I "exercised" to McMurdo and decided to do it again.

In 2013 I ran to McMurdo, 835 miles and back for 1,670 miles. My name the second from the bottom as I had a late start from not feeling well when I first arrived. 

Four days a week I run the passageways for at least an hour which is 5 miles.


I also row for an hour on this excellent machine. At the start I ran outside on the ski-way. But now it is too dark and cold. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Yuri's Night

Yuri's Night is an international celebration held every April 12th to commemorate manned space flight. Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space when he flew the Vostok 1 spaceship into space on April 12, 1961.  The first launch of the space shuttle was on the same date in 1981. I spent almost 30 years working on the space shuttle program. The South Pole celebrates this "World Space Party."

Yuri's Night at the South Pole 2017.
Geostationary Observational Environmental Satellite (GOES) costume hat. I worked at a Hawaii tracking station in the mid-70's and tracked this satellite. 


More space cadets.


A fine group of polies.

The drink cart.

DJ.


The heater in the "booze barn" failed and the temperature dropped to -70F exploding much of the stored soda. Photo credit: Brett

What a mess!

The booze barn is located away from the station.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Polemart

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station Spaceship has now launched and we are travelling through the darkness and cold of the solar system...

A few days ago we were receiving many cold temperature alarms and walked the 3/4 mile out to the radomes.  Inside the larger dome is the Skynet and DSCS antennas with a heated RF shed for each. These RF sheds contained the associated tracking electronics equipment. As we opened each shed door it was very eerie as there was only system power - no utility power. It was like a scene out of Aliens hearing the hum of equipment inside the frozen iced racks and walls. The lights and heater power was off in the minus 70F sheds. Fortunately the equipment was still running as evidenced by the tiny red power lamps and humming. We contacted the station electrician who restored power. It took a few days to bring it all back to normal temperature. The antennas have individual heaters but inside the dome is the same temperature as outside.

Polemart.





Beer is $6 a six pack. Wine about $12 per bottle.


Post Office only open in the summer - November to February.

A fine South Pole day.

Full moon.


A sequence of pictures of the daily balloon launch. Photo credit: Robert Schwarz.

Two of my sunset pictures from 2013.


I am presenting our world bicycle ride at the South Pole for the next four Sundays.