Greetings fellow astrobiology enthusiasts!
My name is Britney Schmidt. I'm a 30-year-old planetary scientist/geophysicist/astrobiologist, whatever you want to call me by, but basically, I'm obsessed with ice. That might sound strange, but it's a fascinating substance, and it's the most abundant form of water in the universe, so for those of us who are inspired by the search for life in the solar system beyond Earth, it's a really good place to start looking.
This year, I'm hoping to share with everyone the unique experience that is trying to understand a world in the outer solar system, Jupiter's ice-ocean moon Europa by going to our own cosmic backyard, Antarctica. Until the end of 2012 or early 2013, I'll be occupying a bunk in McMurdo Station, the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) and National Science Foundation (NSF) home base on the vast white continent. And I'd like to share with you how life, and the search for life, goes on this remote but endearing little outpost.
McMurdo is a beautiful and interesting place to work. It's like any small town in the world in some regards...the same faces, the same jobs, and similar day-to-day routine. It's also like a military base...pilots, ...