Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Up and Down, Con/Decon

The CosRay detector platform began to be erected yesterday afternoon. I just kept my distance, but it was interesting to see how high the platform, where the detectors in their 6,000-lb. housings will be located. I'm not exactly sure how I'll get the detector tubes full of Helium-3 all the way up there, which looks to be a bit more difficult than presented to me. Oh well, it'll be a good challenge to overcome.

In the foreground of this photo some of the big fuel bladders brought in overland from McMurdo Station by the South Pole Traverse are visible. I believe each bladder holds something like 3,000 gallons of fuel. At least on paper, the traverse is supposed to be a much cheaper means of cargo transport than flying everything in here on an LC-130 aircraft.

Dome deconstruction continues, though the changes are a bit less dramatic than they were for SkyLab.

Was out in the Dark Sector doing some errands last week and, thanks to R.A.B. for the photo, got to go atop DSL and have a look see at the South Pole 10-meter Telescope. It's a radio telescope probing the microwave remnants from the early moments of the Universe. That's a pretty cool thing to have out in your backyard!

We actually managed to have a full band practice last night, without a power outage, and most of the songs sounded quite good. A few that we've not played as much need some work, but we've another 1.5 weeks to remedy those deficiencies. Planes are few and far between this week, lucky break for the cargo folks, so nothing much (including mail) is really arriving on station. Pretty soon I plan to start reading through the couple books on glaciers/glaciology that I brought down. Who knows whether that major change of career path will happen this time around. I'm doing a pretty decent job of just living in the here and new and not letting my mind stray to what will come after next November, when I finally depart Pole again.

“Time is the only critic without ambition.”
~John Steinbeck
“All men's gains are the fruit of venturing.”