Pleiades satellite image of Prud'homme station. Credits: Pléiades–CNES 2016, Distribution Airbus DS
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 – we join him as he days goodbye to Dumont d'Urville and boards L'Astrolabe:
Repair work at Dumont D'Urville base continues throughout the whole summer period. In a month from now it will become difficult to work outside. Typical duties range from a new restaurant roof to the replacement of heat pipes between buildings. Food storage and producing drinkable water is also vital for the over team that stays here all winter.
Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–D. Schmitt
The technical support teams help scientists in their special requests for hardware installation or repair such as atmospheric science instruments, tide gauge repositioning, an atomic clock for satellite time synchronisation or a new GPS reference post. The ratio between technical and scientific personnel is 50-50. It is about the same ratio on the International Space Station. This is much better than in some bases where the ratio ...