Operation Ice Bridge

nasa-dc-81This is just a little bit of fun science for everyone... NASA currently has a satellite called ICESat up in space that is about to reach its operational life expectancy. ICESat stands for Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite and it is critical because it monitors the massive ice sheets that cover the polar regions. The replacement satellite, ICESat-II, won't launch until 2014 at the earliest. This leaves researchers with a 6 year gap but NASA has a plan, Operation Ice Bridge. NASA is launching the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. They have outfitted a DC-8 jetliner with various sensors including ones that were not on the original ICESsat. The jet flies out of Punta Arenas Chile and will crisscross ice shelves, sea ice, glaciers and the massive western ice sheet collecting critical data for researchers. Here is a link to the article.

What was really cool for us here at Palmer is that on Saturday Oct. 31st the DC-8 radioed into our station letting us know they were going to be flying over head. So we laid out our bright orange float coats to spell out "HI" and gathered on the pier to watch them fly overhead. They later sent the overhead picture to us.

2 Responses to “Operation Ice Bridge”

  1. Kaycee Says:

    That's awesome!

  2. Oscar Says:

    THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!