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Arriving on the Southernmost Continent

MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA– (By Ron Hipschman) To get to McMurdo, you start in Christchurch, New Zealand. There you board either a C-17 Jet (5-hour trip) or an LC-130 Airplane (8-hour trip). We were lucky enough to to get the C-17. Lucky as we were, this is no luxury liner. Most of the space in this huge aircraft is taken up with cargo bound for Antarctica, leaving very little room for passengers.

This first movie is a pan around the cargo hold just after we boarded the jet while we were settling in for our journey. You’ll see Lisa (waving), then Mary. The guy in the Orange shirt waving at the camera is Ralph Harvey, who collects meteorites on the ice. Though we didn’t know him at the time, you can find him featured in our webcasts.

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This second movie is our arrival and debarking from the jet into the blinding whiteness of Antarctica. All people on the jet are required to wear extreme cold weather (ECW) gear. The C-17 looks bigger from the outside!

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6 Responses »

  1. Congratulations All – I know it was hard work just to get there. But I see by your grins, it was worth the effort.
    Have a successful time and tons of fun!

  2. Wow, it looks really cold there. I love seeing the plane (is that a C-130?) on the ice. Hang in there crew and good luck!

  3. Rob–
    It was a C-17 plane, much more luxurious than a C-130 ski plane (well, at least faster).
    We’ve been cold at times, but when the sun is out it can be quite warm.
    So far, no frostbite.

  4. Cynthia,
    It’s wonderful to be here, we are working really hard but are definitely enjoying ourselves too. It’s a blast talking with all the scientists down here about their work and soon we’ll be traveling off station, tomorrow I’m flying in a helicopter to the Dry Valleys.

  5. HI Mary It was great seeing you in the cockpit of the C 17 A little better than the 141, but a hold lot better than the 130 Dad

  6. All of this is just too cool!