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An expedition to Antarctica takes a massive amount of preparation, that begins with writing a competitive scientific proposal and making detailed plans about the field work, and laboratory follow-up. We received the green light from the National Science Foundation earlier this year when we started talking to the Antarctic Science Contractor about what we needed from them on the ice. Then we needed to go through a series of medical checkups to show that we are physically qualified and we had to pack a bunch of gear that needed to be shipped to the ice. Our four boxes with about 250 lbs. of gear were shipped to the contractor at Port Hueneme by the end of August, and the three of us got the medical OK late in September.
These preparations then set into motion our travel planning that will take us by commercial aircraft to Christchurch, where we will pick out our Extreme Weather Clothing, get a final flue shot, clear our computers so they don’t infect the network on the ice, and then wait for the next military aircraft that will take us to McMurdo on Ross Island, the main US science station in Antarctica.
As we are posting this, we are already in transit to Christchurch!