Earth Science News  





.
ICE WORLD
Calling all candidates for Concordia

Alex Salam working with sign pointing to London: distance 16547 km. Alex was ESA's research MD at Concordia in 2009. Credits: ESA / Alex Salam
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Apr 26, 2011
They are more cut off than the crew of the International Space Station. They are at Concordia in Antarctica, and one of them is ESA researcher Eoin Macdonald-Nethercott. If you want to follow in his footsteps, ESA is looking for his successor.

The flat landscape around the Concordia research station is 3200 m above sea level and virtually inaccessible from February to November. During the southern winter, Concordia is under almost total darkness. With temperatures down to -85 degrees C and the thin air, aircraft can't land and snow tractors can't reach the station.

Eoin arrived in November in a rugged Twin Otter aircraft, hunched in a cramped seat behind a large battered aluminium case, flying over a flat desert of snow. They made a bumpy landing at the second attempt on the icy strip.

"So this is my home for the next 363 days," thought Eoin, a medical doctor from Scotland, looking at the station's two domes.

He applied last year for the almost-out-of-this-world opportunity as ESA's member of the station's winter crew - an 'hivernaut' as they call themselves, after the French word for winter.

Science paradise
Antarctica is one of the most interesting places on Earth for scientific research. Studies in glaciology, atmospheric sciences, astronomy, Earth sciences, technology, human biology and medicine all benefit from the isolated and extreme environment in the middle of the Antarctic continent.

ESA uses Concordia as a laboratory for fundamental research into many subjects important for human missions to the Moon or Mars, like coping with stress and changes in the immune system, blood clotting and changes in the circadian rhythms.

ESA also supports the French Polar Institute and the Italian Antarctic Programme, the station operators, in medical monitoring, testing life-support technologies and psychological training of crews.

A fantastic adventure
Since 10 February, when the last of the summer technical crew and visiting scientists left, the 14 have been alone with storms, aurora australis, false alarms, a band of uniform blue below the horizon where the features are too distant to be seen, and work.

"The research I'm doing is looking at how our environment here affects our thinking, mood and sleep quality, and whether good exercise helps with all these things," explains Eoin.

"With a bunch of astronomers and cosmologists, just plain nightowls, and on the one hand with a technical crew that is up bright and early for a respectable 8am to 6pm working day on the other, any semblance of normality disintegrates."

Eoin writes about a typical day at the Concordia station in his letter from Antarctica. His own blog talks of eyelashes instantly freezing together and plumbers who make good phlebotomists.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Concordia Base
Anglais
PNRA
Beyond the Ice Age



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
ICE WORLD
West Antarctic Warming Triggered By Warmer Sea Surface In Tropical Pacific
Seattle WA (SPX) Apr 14, 2011
The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed rapidly for the last half-century or more, and recent studies have shown that an adjacent area, continental West Antarctica, has steadily warmed for at least 30 years, but scientists haven't been sure why. New University of Washington research shows that rising sea surface temperatures in the area of the Pacific Ocean along the equator and near the Intern ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


ICE WORLD
Russia, Ukraine leaders mourn Chernobyl nightmare

Chernobyl survivor warns of 'bombshell' in Japan

Belarus leader fumes over Chernobyl anniversary

Japan says Fukushima 'different from Chernobyl'

ICE WORLD
Researchers Discover Optical Secrets of Metallic Beetles

Sony challenges iPad in tablet war

A scratched coating heals itself

Primordial fear: why radiation is so scary

ICE WORLD
VIMS study shows propeller turbulence may affect marine food webs

US welcomes delay in controversial Mekong dam

Development in fog harvesting process

Scotland's first marine reserve already producing benefits

ICE WORLD
Calling all candidates for Concordia

Melting ice on Arctic islands a major player in sea level rise

ESA-NASA Collaboration Furthers Sea-Ice Research

Melting ice on Arctic islands boosts sea levels: study

ICE WORLD
Rural development gets help from the sky

Rising food costs could fuel Asian poverty

Can biochar help suppress greenhouse gases

Rotten meat doesn't stand a chance

ICE WORLD
Rain is Colombia's 'worst' natural disaster: Santos

'Right' to shut down air space over Iceland volcano: study

One injured in Indonesian quake

Japan launches new mass search for bodies

ICE WORLD
Nigeria holds final polls despite violence

Burkina Faso president assumes defence post

Work on Sudan split continues

Chinese aid good for Africa: ministers

ICE WORLD
Evolution of human 'super-brain' tied to development of bipedalism, tool-making

Berlusconi, Sarkozy meet over migrants

Pope urges 'solidarity' with refugees from conflict

Walker's World: Europe's frontiers close


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement