So, two reasons for the picture of the C-17 landing at McMurdo. First off, it’s a really awesome shot! Second, it ties in to the header! So McMurdo, that rests on Ross Island, is nearly 50 degrees warmer F then it is here at Pole. This is relevant since as of 2 days ago, it is now too warm to land C-17 aircraft on the ice there now. So this now makes the venerable LC-130 the primary workhorse here on continent. Sadly, the few that we have now are required to make the 7-8 hour flight to Christchurch to get supplies (mail, people, food, materials for projects, and other smaller items) that the C-17 could do in 5 hours. This makes flights to South Pole ( and we are under 50% of required or scheduled LC-130 landings short) even more difficult and spread out.
Tomorrow marks 62 days until ‘station close’, meaning the only people left here are those of us wintering over. We have been hovering around 150 for a few weeks, and in just 8 weeks, that number drops to below 50! I’ve been told that when the sun sets early March, it will take nearly 5 days to drop below the horizon and then the long 6 month night sets in. Winter is coming. Had to throw that in!
A video and pics are coming soon!