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Poor NASA sods sent to spend Xmas in Antarctic ahead of satellite launch

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At least they'll get some sun.

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Poor sods?

A guaranteed white Christmas and many, many miles from family - where do I sign up?

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Re: Poor sods?

many miles from family

Next time sign with your real name Clark Griswold.

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Re: Poor sods?

Depends on your nationality. If you're from the UK, then you should be checking the British Antarctic Survey jobs page regularly.

Otherwise, the US bases are managed by Raytheon (yep, that Raytheon, the ones who make missiles and stuff) (not any more), Leidos (a different US defence contractor). They have their own jobs pages.

If you're not from the US or UK, your home country might have their own Antarctic bases, or you might be able to get a job with the yanks.

Bare in mind though, there's many more people who want a job on the ice than there are open positions, so don't get your hopes up.

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Re: Poor sods?

In fact a family member is doing just that this year.

We've already had a family Christmas get-together, so when he flies off in a few days time, we have still had a chance to celebrate.

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They aren't poor sods at all. I would love to spend Xmas in the Antarctic and have a reason to be there, not just a damn tourist. Lucky sods!

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Anonymous Coward

They could have penguin for Christmas dinner.

I'd watch out for polar bears though.

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FAIL

One seriously fucking lost polar bear?

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Anonymous Coward

One seriously fucking lost polar bear?

It must be a bi-polar bear!

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Anonymous Coward

I do know that you know. Polar bears live in Africa.

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I am surprised no one has actually transported one there, just they can play the pedant's pedant card.

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Linux

Polar bears live in Africa.

As do penguins!

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Re: Polar bears live in Africa.

I thought the penguins all moved to Australia?

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http://web.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2013/10/01

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I'm fairly sure it's

A) tricky to sneak a polar bear into your luggage. Even if it's in a large box labelled 'Do not open till Xmas'.

B) against a few quarantine regs and international treaties.

Explosives are OK though, as long as they're documented and licensed as seismic charges. There was an interesting blog from another BAS mission that seemed to be having a lot of fun with those around Mt Erebus.

But it would be a tad sucky if they get there and there's a problem with the launch. Maybe there's a plan-B. Penguin census?

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Anonymous Coward

Book it a seat in business, get it a long trench coat, hat, glasses and a stick on moustache, the classic disguise of Hollywood films, it never fails. Make sure you tick the fish option for the meal though or it could get messy.

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Re: Polar bears live in Africa.

But African polar bears are non-migratory

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It could have been carried there by a penguin.

or two penguins could have it on a line....

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Anonymous Coward

Was it an African or European penguin?

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Simples! Tie a tiger to the box, then nobody will look in the box.

Shirley, if Polar Bears don't live on both poles they are misnamed and should be called Arctic Bears?

Well, apart from the ones that live in Africa.

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Re: Polar bears live in Africa.

"I thought the penguins all moved to Australia?"

No, that's the Kiwis!

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Summer

At least it's summertime there.

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Joke

Re: Summer

A summer even Olaf can enjoy without additional assistance from Elsa.

(Oh, I'm sorry... my daughters have made sure my brain is "Frozen". The recent snow dump in our area has got them singing "Do you want to build a snowman?" nigh constantly.)

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deja vu

Well that's interesting. I was part of a 3-person team that did exactly the same thing for ESA's ERS-1 in 1991.

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Re: deja vu

I was part of a 3-person team that did exactly the same thing

Genuine question then - these reflective targets, how long do they last before they are covered in snow and can't be seen by the satellite?

M.

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Re: deja vu

Took the snide quip from my mouth (and made it polite)

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Re: deja vu

how long do they last before they are covered in snow and can't be seen by the satellite?
Dunno, but Antarctica is the driest continent. Of course there's windblown stuff, but I imagine the cubes are placed where the stuff is being blown away, rather than accumulating. Bare rock may be a giveaway.

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Re: deja vu

Yup. Science is fun like that. Surrounded by ice in a desert. Not sure about rock, but AFAIK there's a lot of ice sitting on top of it that doesn't move much. So assuming the survey team's going to measure ice depth at the calibration targets. GRACE had a lot of.. fun trying to calibrate it's readings.

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Re: deja vu

The windblown stuff does accumulate though. The last south pole base was abandoned because the snow on top got too deep.

OTOH, if these reflectors are stuck on poles drilled in suitably deeply, then in the longer term they can be used to quantify ice movement as well as providing short term reference points.

I'd send out a team of penguins to do it, but at the 88th meridian they'd be even more lost than the polar bears.

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Re: deja vu

Is that polar bare rock?

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Accuracy?

Of course, that does assume that the ice won't move between the time they measure it and the time the satellite measures it.

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Re: Accuracy?

Of course, that does assume that the ice won't move between the time they measure it and the time the satellite measures it.
Ice moves, but at a glacial pace. I guess that's why the ice in such places is referred to as glacier...

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Anonymous Coward

Baby, it's cold out there...

Well, kinda. If you do "physical work", on most days in the summer (this time of year), all you really need is a good parka and bunny boots.

As for wild animals, the only ones at the pole are humans. Penguins don't get that far.

Oh, yes you will get some sun. In fact you can tell time by it. Hopefully it doesn't shine in the window at 3am (like it did to me).

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Joke

Re: Baby, it's cold out there...

>Oh, yes you will get some sun. In fact you can tell time by it. Hopefully it doesn't shine in the window at 3am (like it did to me).

Just make sure you get a south facing window ;)

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