Status Report

Don Pettit’s Space Chronicles on Ice: Leaving for New Zealand

By SpaceRef Editor
January 5, 2007
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Don Pettit’s Space Chronicles on Ice: Leaving for New Zealand

Image to left: An oblique view of the South Island of New Zealand as photographed from the International Space Station by astronaut Donald R. Pettit, NASA ISS science officer and flight engineer for Expedition 6. Image credit: NASA

All the USA operations in Antarctica stage from Christchurch, New Zealand, a delightful place in a country filled with equally delightful people. Christchurch geographically happens to be located about as near to the main USA Antarctic base, McMurdo Station as one can get even though it is still an 8-hour flight from Christchurch to McMurdo.

We leave for New Zealand this morning, flying from Houston, Texas to Christchurch via Dallas, Los Angeles, and Auckland. Elapsed time will be about 21 hours, however, we cross the International Date Line so we actually arrive in Christchurch a day ahead. So we leave on a Monday and arrive on a Wednesday having had Tuesday somehow evaporated, perhaps into the ether. The last time I flew to New Zealand, I left the day before my birthday and arrived the day after, thus conveniently skipping the celebrations. Fortunately, I am at the age where this does not pose a problem.

The Beginning

Nov 13, 2006:

We are about to start a journey to Antarctica through NASA’s participation in the ANSMET 2006-2007 expedition. The Antarctic Search for Meteorites or ANSMET is a yearly expedition to gather meteorites that naturally concentrate on the Antarctic glaciers. What we will be doing here is posting writing called “Space Chronicles on Ice” dealing with the aspects of exploration on Earth contrasted with exploration in space. Also presented will be “Saturday Morning Science on Ice,” an extension of what was done on the International Space Station during Expedition 6.

So let us see what words will come together as this Antarctic expedition unfolds.

Read Don Pettit’s Space Chronicles on Ice

SpaceRef staff editor.