16 January 2010
We left Antarctica at 8 PM Friday night from the Pegasus ice runway at McMurdo. FIve hours later we landed in the first darkness we had seen in 7 days. Several people on the plane had not seen night in 3 months.
They crowded around the window on the door of the C17 as the sun set as we flew Northward. Back to the real world.
I have not seen my wife in over two weeks. The longest we have been apart in our 25 years of marriage. I leave Sunday afternoon to fly back home and because I will cross the date line, I will live through two Sunday’s!
With me are thousands of high resolution pictures and hours of HD video. I cannot wait to share with everyone the sights and sounds and most importantly the science of Antarctica.
My gratitude to America’s National Science Foundation for allowing me to experience what I have over the past week is not expressible in words. That goes double for Dana Topousis of the NSF. She moved mountains to get us to as many places as possible. Dana you are incredible!
The best way for me to say thank you is to show anyone who asks or looks for info on the Science in Antarctica what I saw and now know. If you are a K-12 student and want to do a report on Antarctica, I can get you an A! If I do not know the answer, I have the email address of Astronomers and Physicists at McMurdo and the South Pole. Meteorologists too!
Science as a career is certainly not for everyone, but every person should be scientifically literate and understand why we the taxpayers fund this kind of very difficult research. A nation that gives up on science will not be a great nation for long. History shows this well.
The men and women of the 109th wing of the New York Air Guard know it too. That is why they do the impossible everyday, and fly people like me to places that would turn the stomach of almost any other pilot.
My admiration for those folks is unbounded. As I got off the plane, I told one of them “You all do the impossible.
You know what he said?
“Well someone has to do it”
When I get back,, I will start telling the stories of the place and the people of Antarctica and the science being done at the bottom of the World.