Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pics at last

Well, future job prospects are looming massively in my mind right now. I've been searching around and gotten a few applications out. I'm currently working on one for a company that does operations engineering work for the International Space Station. The super-cool thing is that they are located in a suburb of Brussels, Belgium! I might have a problem eating too many chocolate-covered Belgian waffles if I end up there...

The temperatures didn't warm up this week, and we're still sitting in the -90F range. It's disconcerting how much degradation the insulating capabilities of some of my gear, particularly my mittens, have declined as they are used more as the season progresses. I wish I could have taken a time-lapse movie of my Carhartt overalls to see how the wear accumulated on them. Mine are in a lot better shape than some other folks', but they definitely won't be in too good a shape by the time I get back to the CDC in Christchurch.

Last night we had a teleconference with a science team for the Mars Phoenix Lander. They were celebrating not only the Martian solstice, but also the first successful wet chemistry analysis performed on the red planet's surface. One of their team was down here for a few seasons, so they thought it might be cool to have the South Pole of Earth talk to folks working with a robotic spacecraft in the Arctic region of Mars. We talked for about 1.5 hours and went through some slides with pictures from both incredible places in the Solar System. I definitely was heartened by their optimism that the discovery of water portends for manned visits to the fourth planet. They also lifted my spirits by saying that in one hour a properly trained astronaut could have done all the science performed in the first 90 days of the Mars Exploration Rovers' mission. This is why I need to get that geology degree sometime soon.

Below are a few pictures from Son of Polestock. Thanks go to C.A. and R.S. for the photos. You can also see some other pics at Steffen's blog.


Scott said...

Ethan, I have been to Brussels several times and it is a great place to be - highly recomended.

LillyLyle said...

Hi Ethan,

Before you disappear to Mars or some other planet (!), I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog, which I found because no less than W.Gibson pointed me at it.

Antarctica has always fascinated me, and your unique stories have given me great insight into what life is like at the station.

EthanG said...

Hi there,

Yeah, Scott, I definitely could dig the Brussels location and all the travel opportunities that would abound living in Western Europe.

Lilly, thanks for the nice feedback on my blog. Though I've found less time to work on it as of late, and fewer remarkable stories to relate as the chilled-out nature of winter deepens, it still is fun to know others are reading what I have to say. It definitely was a rush getting a blog entry from W. Gibson on New Year's Day, which was far beyond any sort of recognition I might have expected to get from him. Anyhow, stay tuned for "what's next". I definitely have no real clue where life's path is going to lead yet.


Neal said...

It's amazing how much mileage the sci techs get out of that suit....

Good to see you're keeping the tradition going.