Eighteen days had passed in the icy land of Antarctica
A welcome party was prepared when the arrival day finally came for scientific expedition in Antarctica after the bad weather kept them for about 10 more days. Close relatives and peers sat on the black plastic airport chairs peep in at the large windows on the landing field and glancing at their watches about an hour before the airplane had reached its destination. Down the hallway, there were 25 students gathered with teachers and parents, nibbling turkey sandwiches and were about to pamper their teacher with hugs.
People carry along a bunch of heart shaped balloons, a dozen roses and a stack of made by hand welcome signs including pictures of penguins. The four team members brought along two backpacks of meteorites which will be taken photographs, cut open and tested and shared tales about their accomplished mission. The quest also compromised two retired NASA astronauts, a scientist from NASA and a resident of Chicago who contributed significantly in funding part of the expedition. The mission brought the group to the Patriot Hills of Antarctica, South Pole and Thiel Mountains even though it is not so high as the Rockies, but just as spectacular.
Upon returning to the States, there was a complaint made about what kind of technology was brought along. Satellite phones ended up being useless. For them, these were representations of what could not be brought along. Life will be back to normal in his populated continent for this professor of astronomy and geology.
It was not long ago when these people embarked on a similar trip to an unfamiliar territory. Last summer was when two of them went to Turkey with a scientific team for the solar eclipse seen from the coast of the Black Sea. While there, like the unanticipated package of extra days in Antarctica, the two got a little more than they bargained for. For the solar eclipse was why they went there but they stayed for an intense earthquake as well. The earthquake struck when the two were 200 miles away from its epicenter and so the magnitude they felt was only 5.5.
The snow covered scenery and images of blue ice fields made the Antarctica trip far better for him and the best part was the camaraderie on the trip. Considered to be an exclusive club was the team which had a retired NASA scientist. They were easy to approach as they were really a down to earth group of people. With them there are no egos, just fun. From talking to reading to cross country skiing to snowmobiling, they did everything for their days, unanticipated or not, in Antarctica.
The ensemble of boots, goggles, heavy gloves, and an energetic smile was what a 24 year old team member thought to wear on the trip and this she shared with reporters and staff members a month ago. What she wore back home were jeans and sneakers plus a sweatshirt to go with her cheerful smile. Because she incorporated space science in her classes, she was chosen for this Mars like continent. It also gave students a once in lifetime learning experience. Kids tying everything in leads to learning. Teachers who are also explorers allow the kids to live science and history.
For her experiments during the trip, they were about temperature, rocks, and gravity, much like what students back home are doing. As well as satellite phone, email was also used to send the information to 11 classrooms. You could say that the questions and the answers were rather comical. With the answers given, funny was how they differed. What the students learned was that results can easily differ depending on the conditions of the area, say a snowy desert with plunging temperatures.