Last days on the Ice

Earlier this month I reblogged a post about the launch of the balloon-borne SPIDER experiment in Antarctica. Here’s a follow up from last week. Spider parachuted back down to the ice on January 17th and was recovered successfully. Now the team will be leaving the ice and returning home, hopefully with some exciting science results!

I’d love to go to Antarctica, actually. When I was finishing my undergraduate studies at Cambridge I applied for a place on the British Antarctic Survey, but didn’t get accepted. I don’t suppose I’ll get the chance now, but you never know…

SPIDER on the Ice

Four of the last five of the SPIDER crew– Don, Ed, Sasha, and I– are slated to leave the Ice tomorrow morning. That means this is probably my last blog post– at least until SPIDER 2! It has been an incredible few months, but I can’t say I’m all that sad for it to be ending. I’m ready to have an adventure in New Zealand and then get home to all the people I’ve missed so much while I’ve been away.

As is the nature of field campaigns, it has been an absolute roller coaster, but the highs have certainly made the lows fade in my memory. We got SPIDER on that balloon, and despite all of the complexities and possible points of failure, it worked. That’s a high I won’t be coming down from any time soon.

On top of success with our experiment, we’ve also had the privilege of…

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3 Responses to “Last days on the Ice”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Ah, Peter, I was the last research student of the last faculty member of the ionospheric research group which begat the radioastronomy group at Cambridge, and although I was very much on the theoretical side of plasma physics the group had close relations with British Antarctic Survey in buildings nearby. I’d have loved to do a 1-year stint there, but they had only 2-year contracts when I looked and that felt too long. Good money too, and all of it waiting when you got back because you were out of the country and you couldn’t go out to the pub in Antarctica…

    • telescoper Says:

      When I was at Cardiff there was a chance I might get to go with the Clover experiment. However, the plan then changed to move it to Chile to save costs, and then it was scrapped so it all came to nothing.

  2. Adrian Burd Says:

    Well, the US and New Zealand bases have pubs, and so I’m pretty sure that the UK ones do. McMurdo even has a wine bar, with some pretty good wines!

    It is a most beautiful continent, perhaps one of my favorite places.

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