Dr. Nadja Albertsen 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, Nadja walks us through a day in the life of Concordia.
Every summer, an expert in rescue services in remote areas visited Concordia. Last year, it was the head of the medical section of the French Polar Institute, but this year we were trained by an alpine guide from the Italian military.
Rescue exercise from the American Tower. Credits ESA/IPEV/PNRA-N. Albertsen
At Concordia there is a 45-m-tall tower known as the American Tower. It is primarily used for meteorological and glaciological studies and therefore lies just over 1 km from the base to reduce interference. The tower has gauges mounted from the base to the top and is cared for by two of my colleagues who must regularly inspect and clean the instruments all year round. This means that they go out and climb the tower, even during the winter when the temperature drops. There are some exceptions though: when the wind is too strong (about 7–8 ...