Monday, January 30, 2012

Return to the Frozen Continent

So you may or may not have noticed that I pretty much just disappeared on this blog. For those of you who check up on this blog every day (pretty much just my mom), the last 6 weeks of silence were probably the longest blog related weeks of all time. My absence from blog world is well justified though. You see, there was this crazy radioactive explosion down here and all the wildlife was transformed into radioactive supermonsters which ran amuck through town for the last 6 weeks. FORTUNATELY, I left the continent before that happened so I've still got all my limbs and brains. I even got to spend Christmas with my family! Reeeally glad I missed that whole radioactive monster thing. It sounded horrible.

So after a long, totally non-Arctic or Antarctic holiday break, I'm happy to report that as of today I've ventured back to the ice. The main objective of this return is to finish my blog. A subsidiary objective is to retrieve the 10 million dollar telescope that was launched a few weeks back. The telescope, which successfully flew at about 120,000' for over two weeks, had finally touched back down on the continent as of this last weekend (January 28th). Here's a shot of the balloon being tracked live on the web:

From Mike's Bi-Polar Adventure

This was just a few days before it finally came down. Very exciting!

Anyhow, so I'm back and my second deployment to Antarctica gave me a second chance to film the view leaving the C-17 military plane after landing on the ice. I filmed this video this afternoon.

It took 2 full days of travel to get from Tucson, AZ to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. I must say, the 2nd go around was much more casual and relaxed. I felt like I was returning to summer camp for the 2nd time. Today marked the return of lots of familiar faces, 2nd helpings of dessert, and the first penguin of my entire Antarctic deployment. There's much left to tell chilly travelers. Stay warm until next time....