With the SPIDER hardware having made its way safely to McMurdo Station, the scientists are now on their way to the frozen continent.
The first group left their home institutions a week ago today. Graduate students Anne Gambrel and Edward Young from Princeton University, and Steve Benton from the University of Toronto, traveled over thirty hours to reach Christchurch, New Zealand, their final stop before Antarctica (a.k.a. “the Ice”). There, the United States Antarctic Program provided them with the Extreme Cold Weather equipment that they will need to take with them to McMurdo. A Boeing C-17 was scheduled to take them to Antarctica the very next day. But as is common this early in the Austral spring, the Antarctic weather had other plans! The team is still in New Zealand awaiting conditions for a safe flight to the station.
Meanwhile, another seven scientists packed their bags and took off for Christchurch. Princeton Assistant Professor and SPIDER Principal Investigator William Jones left the Garden State late this morning with Postdoctoral Research Associate Jon Gudmundsson and graduate student Sasha Rahlin, both also from Princeton, while University of Toronto graduate students Natalie Gandilo and Jamil Shariff, Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar Lorenzo Moncelsi, and Case Western Reserve University graduate student Johanna Nagy, have been making their respective ways from Toronto, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. Will they overlap with Anne, Ed, and Steve in New Zealand? Stay tuned!
And here’s to hoping that the next update will be from the Ice!