Halloween at Concordia. Credits: IPEV/PNRA– M. Buttu
Happy Halloween from the Antarctic crew that brought you frozen noodles!
After enduring the three and a half months of winter darkness and freezing temperatures (lowest being -64°C!), the team is transitioning into summer. This means months of complete light that extends over what we traditionally celebrate in the dusk and dark: Halloween!
But why are a group of 13 engaged in a battle with creepy crawlies in the Antarctic, you may ask? For the sake of furthering spaceflight, of course.
Because of its seclusion, Concordia offers scientists a unique location to conduct research far from civilisation in many disciplines.
Besides studies into climate change and glaciology, Earth’s atmosphere and a pollution free look at the stars, the inhospitable conditions around Concordia make living there similar to living on another planet. The base is an ideal place to study the effects on small, multicultural teams isolated for long periods in an extreme, hostile environment.
ESA sponsors a medical research doctor in Concordia every winter to study the long-term effects of isolation. Understanding how our bodies and minds adapt to extreme environments will help to overcome the challenges of long flights aboard the International ...