Concordia Calling

By Keith Cowing
April 16, 2014
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Concordia Calling
Concordia Base, Antarctica
Alex Kumar/ESA

Are you a team player who is unafraid of long isolation? Do you have a medical degree and a healthy love of extremes? ESA is offering the chance of a lifetime to run space experiments in one of the world’s most isolated places: Concordia research station in Antarctica.
Lying 1600 km from the South Pole in the Antarctic desert, Concordia was built on a plateau 3200 m up. Its location means that its inhabitants are pushed to their limits.

Outside temperatures of -80*C combined with the altitude means that the air pressure is equivalent to the top of Japan’s Mount Fuji. If the beautiful panoramas do not leave you breathless, the lack of oxygen will.

So far from the equator, the days and nights can be long – very long. The winter night lasts up to four months when the Sun does not rise above the horizon. During this time no supplies can be ferried in and you will be on your own with up to 15 colleagues, surviving and running science at the limits of the human exploration.

The features that make Concordia such a harsh place are also why researchers flock to the area to do science that would be impossible elsewhere. Seismologists, glaciologists, astronomers and climatologists embrace the location, darkness and pure air for their studies.

Your mission as a research medical doctor is to run experiments on the crew and yourself to observe how the team adapts to living at the edge of extremes. You will measure hormones, sleeping patterns, teamwork and speech to see how human beings adapt to work in a ‘far-off world’.

An unforgettable sabbatical, spending a year at Concordia offers amazing views in a unique location while playing a part in the future exploration of our Solar System.

Browse this site and read past entries on the Concordia blog to get a feeling of what to expect. You will be taking over from Adrianos Golemis, who is now half way through his stay.

When ready to apply click here, the deadline is 11 May.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.