Volunteer Work

pulling 10k to airfield

Sherrie Ann and Southern Belle, pulling a half-full 10,000 gallon fuel tank to the runway.

We’re a bit over a week away from the first planes coming through S Pole, so it’s time to setup the fuel system to handle them!

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Machine Shop Project

headspace gauges 1

headspace gauges 2Last week, I made a set of headspace gauges for a possible post-ice project (deer hunting) from a bit of scrap stainless steel and the cuff of a pant leg from the craft room’s bin of denim scraps. I’m considerably happier with the machining work than the sewing, but they should work fine.

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Winterover Photo

2014 winterover photo

-90 South, -90 Fahrenheit

One of 300-odd candidates for the South Pole 2014 winterover photo – this happens when two Canon 6Ds are left to run at full tilt for a couple minutes. It was a cold day out, so it was difficult to catch a majority of people with their eyes open and without clouds of respiration at the same time.

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Sun

sunriseWe had a break in the weather at dinnertime, and this bright orange thing showed up.

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Sun’s Up

first sunAlthough I announced over All Call yesterday morning that “The Sun’s Up”, it was not technically true. What we saw was the reflection of the Sun off clouds a long way away, but it was our first peek at the Sun in half a year.

sky before sunrise

Opposite the sun, we could see just a sliver of the retreating night sky.

Weather has gotten a bit breezier since these photos, so the horizon is now obscured. Hopefully the weather will clear up in time for us to have a chance at seeing the green flash!

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Talking With Curiosity Team

jpl phonecallWe recently had a phone conference call with the Curiosity rover team at JPL, it was neat to connect with some folks outside of the usual Antarctic circles who have an idea of what it’s like to work in such a remote and hostile environment.

JPL’s presentation was really well put together and interesting. I can’t really say the same for our end, but we’ve spent the last several months at the South Pole (vs California), so I suppose we have a good excuse. One of the sections of JPL’s presentation dealt with the time shift that happens due to Mars having a day that’s a bit longer than ours, which is much like the way our satellite connectivity shifts a bit earlier each day.

Slide25

And, of course, JPL included one of my favourite photos:
725559main_pia16764-43_1600-1200

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Dawn

main station at dawnYesterday, I made a few trips back-and-forth between the main station and the dark sector – for work in the morning and for a machine shop project in the evening. Weather was beautiful for walking around outside: calm and clear with some wispy clouds in the distance, and relatively mild temperatures.

We’re looking forward to sunrise in a few days, stay tuned!

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