Saturday, July 17, 2010

What a blast!

Our winds set some records on Friday. The wind speed topped out at 42 kts/48 mph, which broke the previous peak wind speed record from 1978 of 32 kts/37 mph. The average wind speed on the same day tied the previous highest average record wind speed of 24.2kts/27.8mph, which had been set in 1962. Drifts have grown and changed, and I've fallen down the one by the station in a different way each time I've come back from ARO for the last 3 days. The wind is still higher than usual, but it's nowhere near the tear-the-doors-off-the-hinges speed it was. The physio-altitude has been near 12,000 feet above sea level (equivalent), which has not been too bad, except when you go do workouts in the gym like I just did and make yourself seriously light-headed.

I managed to sneak in an instrument calibration yesterday atop ARO, and it was pleasant to do it with the ambient temperature ~40°F warmer than when I did the same calibration last month. The moon also popped up yesterday, so there was actually some light to work by as well.

I just started reading a book sent to me about the history of space science/astronomy here at Pole. It is interesting dealing with the offspring of projects from back in the day that are still ongoing. Shoot, I've got a radio receiver here that predates me by 2 years, so I'm still getting to serve directly with some remnants of "the old breed".

“As a rock on the seashore he standeth firm, and the dashing of the waves disturbeth him not. He raiseth his head like a tower on a hill, and the arrows of fortune drop at his feet. In the instant of danger, the courage of his heart sustaineth him; and the steadiness of his mind beareth him out.”

~Akhenaton, King of Egypt, 14th century B.C.