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 – after arriving by helicopter he took part in a supply run to Concordia:
The traverse travels 1300 km from the coast to Concordia. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–B. Healey
While you enjoyed a well-deserved holiday period with your families much has been going on this side of the world. I was quickly transferred from the Antarctic Dumont D'Urville station (which is located on an island in fact) to the continental French-Italian base Prud'homme. It is a large station where tractors and snow groomers are prepared and repaired between the long traverses across the continent called ‘raids’. As the Astrolabe ship was stuck in the ice, large supply items could not be unloaded so we will be the smallest Raid ever… we will still be transporting 300 tonnes in a 300-m long convoy.
On Christmas day we were ready. A helicopter with VIPs came to great us: quick group photo and off we went. It is a ...