Dr. Carole Dangoisse was the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. She facilitated a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. In the following post, Carole discusses life in Antarctica.
Credit: ESA/IPEV/PNRA-C. Dangoisse
Just as the arrival of a new raid is a celebration, each landing of a plane is a highlight. The station becomes a control tower and warnings to stay off the grounds are issued via the intercom. There is no dedicated “air traffic” crew. Instead, the IT and radio team must learn the basics about flight navigation. Concordia is definitely a great opportunity to become multifunctional.
I love watching a tiny dot on the horizon slowly transform into fuselage and wings, and observe the plane’s bumpy slide onto the snow-covered taxiway. Around the middle of the runway, the pilots veer at 90° and glide in between the summer camp and tents, sending flurries of snow over the buildings. The gas pump is located right next to the station so the planes actually come very close. Almost everyone goes out to watch and to get a sprinkling of snow!