Things are going well here. I am keeping very busy. I am going to try to find a Down Under map of the world to bring back. They sell them in New Zealand. It is a map of the world with New Zealand on top, and the USA on the bottom. It kinda makes me wonder which map is correct. I got some calendars today to bring back, that have lots of good information and pictures. I will bring you one next time I see you.
The highlight of the week is there is a lottery for a trip to the south pole. They are flying there Friday, and have some room for extra passengers. I hope my name gets pulled so I can go. I made it this far, I would love to go the extra step to make it all the way to the pole.
Antarctica is a very large continent, and I have seen only a small part. What I have seen is very beautiful. There are many very high mountains covered in snow and glaciers. The air is very clear, and so far it is common to have visibility over 50 miles.
I am living in what appears to be a small town. We have many buildings with barber shops, stores, a fire department, a bowling alley, a gym, a cafeteria, and many other buildings. We have streets with trucks, vans, and sprites(a BIG snow mobile) driving around. We even have a big bus with monster truck tires called "Ivan the Terra-Bus".
It is cold outside, about 25 Degrees and windy. Inside it is very warm. The dorm where I am staying is very old, and the heat is not as well controlled as in the new buildings. It is so hot in the dorm that I have had the window open in the room since I arrived.
I am here working for ATSC, which is a contractor to NASA. Normally I work at Wallops Island. I am doing the same job as I do at Wallops, operating and maintaining station that tracks satellites. The satellites we track are for science experiments. For protection, the satellite dish is in a dome that looks like a big golf ball. Next to the dome is a building that contains electronic equipment.
We have a remote control site in the Crary Science Lab which enables us to operate the dish from the lab. The dish is on a hill about a mile away, and it will sometimes be impossible to get there in bad weather. Most of my time is spent in buildings. There is a big dome at the south pole station, but that is about a 3 hour plane ride from here. You may have seen pictures on TV of that base.
Thanks for writing,
David Hess NK3T