Helicopter view. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–D. Schmitt
Didier Schmitt is a member of the space Task Force at the European External Action Service. He is a regular opinion writer in major newspapers and magazines and has published a book on foresight. He will be contributing to this blog during his visit to Concordia – this entry was sent from the Dumont D'Urville base:
Yesterday we were stuck in moving ice-sheets (pack-ice). Satellite images and helicopter-scouting was used to find our way out but after 18 hours forcing through the ice we gave up. A 100 km thick sea-ice separates us from our port of call so we left the ship by helicopter. It was a breath-taking experience. Our equipment will need over 50 more helicopter rotations. Future human space missions must also be able to deal with the unforeseen.
Dumont D'Urville base at midnight. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–D. Schmitt
Sustaining teams that stay in Antartica all winter to collect data is essential to improve our understanding of climate change and marine life. From a human and logistics point of view it is not an easy task: the harsh environment prevents any rescue during nine months a year. It is similar to an International Space ...