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Chronicles from Concordia

The Gastrolabe

22 Dec 2016, 14:10 UTC
The Gastrolabe
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Struggling to get through the pack. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–D. Schmitt
Four days on the "Gastrolabe"... I heard that ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet had no space sickness, lucky him. Crossing the 50th and the 60th parallel is a challenge, especially with our flat-bottomed ship. But we were lucky as the pitch, yaw and roll were 'only' ±20 degrees, it went up to 45 during the trip in November!
Astrolabe crew. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–D. Schmitt
Onboard everyone has now adapted to the rough seas, judging from the crowded canteen. Scientists on board are experts in all kinds of disciplines such as meteorology, glaciology, plankton or penguins. The support staff is also varied: from IT technicians to bakers, mechanics and doctors.
Outside, on the deck I am more conscious than ever before that we are on the surface of a planet that is floating in the Solar System. There is no one around within 1000 km. Due to the ozone depletion, the UV-radiation is harsher. The day-night cycle has changed significantly: the sun now sets around 23:30 and rises around 3:30. We cannot see the Milky Way.
View from deck. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–D. Schmitt
Spotting the first icebergs is just an incredible feeling. They form by ...

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