Dr. Carmen Possnig is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. She facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. In the following post, Carmen discusses transportation in Antarctica.
The Traverse approaching Concordia Credits: PNRA–M. Giorgioni
What is the most efficient way to bring material into the Antarctic interior?
Robert Falcon Scott already tried his luck with motorized companions – he was looking for an alternative to his ponies and dogs. His engines didn’t get very far – a few kilometres over the Ross Ice Shelf.
Airplanes land here far too rarely. Sending a plane over, depending on the weather, is dangerous and expensive. All equipment, food supplies, fuel and baggage of the hibernators are delivered across the continent with the help of a traverse from the Antarctic coast.
From Cap Prud’homme (near Dumont d’Urville, the French station on the Antarctic coast), the traverse starts 2-3 times a summer to Dome C. In 1993, the French Antarctic programme reached Concordia for the first time under the technical direction of Patrice Godon, who is also known as the person who has ...