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Plane lands on ice.
Photo Credit: Todd Jackson
 

New chapter begins

2014-15 field season in Antarctica starts with pair of flights on Sept. 30

Plane sits on a snow.
Photo Credit: Jack Green/Antarctic Photo Library

Two aircraft carrying more than 160 people landed on a runway made of ice on the Ross Ice Shelf on Tuesday (local time), kicking off the 2014-15 field season for the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation. Above, an Australian Airbus A319 touches down at Pegasus Airfield shortly after 9 a.m. It was followed about three hours later by a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III (at right, with clouds bisecting Mount Erebus in the distance). Most of the passengers consisted of support personnel for McMurdo Station, the largest U.S. research facility on the continent. Researchers and support staff will continue to arrive in the coming weeks to work on dozens of research projects, from investigations into how seals navigate under sea ice to drilling an ice core at the South Pole to learn more about past climate.

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Curator: Michael Lucibella, Antarctic Support Contract | NSF Official: Peter West, Office of Polar Programs