Wintering at Concordia Station, Antarctica

Here’s a great piece from the NY Times written by Alexander Kumar, who spent a winter locked in with the DC8 Team at Concordia Station, Antarctica. Sounds like a great experience, and one I’d gladly sign up for!

A few interesting excerpts:

Altogether, 13 people are locked inside our station — an eclectic collection of skills, experience, personalities and stories from different backgrounds and countries. It is Antarctica’s version of the “Big Brother” reality TV shows.

The Concordia DC8 team.

The members of our crew had first met one another in Paris in October. Although we would be spending the next year together, we only had four days in one another’s company before shipping off. That would be our only “training” and orientation for living in harmony and surviving the challenges as a multinational crew for one year at the world’s greatest extreme and in greater isolation than that of astronauts onboard the International Space Station — and with no opportunity to escape.

– Crazy to think that the isolation is more intense than in space. On the ISS, the crew is in constant contact with the ground, and gets a beautiful sunrise every 45 minutes, and can even go outside longer! Spacewalks are typically 6 hours long, whereas in the -100º temps in Antarctica during the winter, outside time is limited to much less than 6 hours. In Antarctica, the crew has almost not outside communication, is in total darkness, and can’t go outside for as long as the astronauts.

Definitely worth the read:

Big Brother in Antarctica –