The first C-17 flight since Winfly touched down yesterday, marking the official start of the summer season- Mainbody. Station population will nearly triple over the coming weeks to around 800 support contractors and scientists via 31 more C-17 flights and a smattering of Airbus and LC-130 missions. With each day 15 minutes longer than the last it’s only a few more weeks before the final sunset of the year on October 22nd, which is more of a 4 hour dip below the mountains. The impending 24 hour light will bring warmer temperatures, a flurry of research activity, and hopefully some penguins wandering in from the sea ice edge.
We’re fortunate in having been able to come down during Winfly as the month head start allowed the majority of our team to get oriented to life on base and get a jump on field site selection and camp put in. Winfly also happens to be mind-bendingly beautiful, so there’s that too.
It’s not quite warm yet, but the science construction team has been working through just about any weather constructing the foundation and floor of our Bot Garage above the culvert we put in the other day. We are now just about ready to begin putting up the arch supports and roll on the multiple layers that compose the fabric roof. After that we can begin assembly of the internal launch and recovery system (LARS) and start melting out the ice that has refrozen inside the culvert ahead of Artemis’ arrival!