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Super-TIGER on the Ice

Another year on the Ice ...

18 Jan 2014, 00:35 UTC
Another year on the Ice ...
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An update from Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole. Unfortunately, we will not have a full recovery of the SuperTIGER payload this season. A huge difficulty in working in Antarctica is that all scientific and support projects are subject to the weather. One major slip can lead to a domino effect that causes disruption throughout the program. Coupled with that, a primary goal towards the end of the summer season is that everyone is removed from their field-camps before the onset of winter, this of course must take priority over everything. So resources become stretched, priorities shift and schedules and plans can evaporate over night. The SuperTIGER recovery fell victim to a chain of events that started over a week ago. Due to warmer temperatures, the ice-runway at Pegasus (which is the primary runway when the sea-ice breaks up around McMurdo station) became unsuitable for the larger non-ski aircraft used to take passengers and supplies to and from Christchurch (i.e. the C-17, the Australian Airbus A319). When I say unsuitable, what I mean is that the runway surface melted and became too soft for these aircraft to land safely. When that happens (like last season in fact), all of the ...

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