University of Wisconsin-Madison

Week 17 at the Pole

NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser

Before heading to the South Pole, winterovers participate in training sessions to prepare them for possible emergency response situations. After all, they are isolated for months, so the station crew members themselves must deal with any unforeseen circumstances. And once they are at the Pole, they continue their training, and keep their skills fresh, by holding regular drills.

Last week was the missing person drill. Even though they are in the Dark Sector, where outdoor lighting is generally eliminated in winter to avoid interference with experiments, they had to turn flood lights on the outside of the station to be able to safely guide the drill team back. (The “missing” person was successfully found.) No flood lights were needed, however, to find a bit of lingering twilight along the horizon, a bright green aurora, and a nice swath of Milky Way across the sky.

NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/S. Richter
NSF/S. Richter
NSF/S. Richter
NSF/S. Richter