9 October 2016 Preparations and Purchases!

Introduction to Operation IceBridge

A few Videos

Here are a few videos to introduce you to the Operation IceBridge, the DC-8, some of the instruments we will have on board, some of the discoveries made and a few views of Antarctica!


I have been busy getting my gear together, connecting with teachers and giving interviews to the media here in Denver. Among recent purchases are a Gopro Hero4 (I am really excited about this!). I hope to attach this to the front window of the cockpit to take some flight footage, and capture the the day to day activities on board the DC-8, film special sights, and hold short interviews. I also purchased extra batteries, data cards, international plugs, extra socks, a few new layers for the plane and… some amazing headphones! HeadphonesIt will be really helpful to have good noise cancelling headphones on our long flights!


Guest's picture
Base camp

Hi Maggie,

Great intro video to the project, and super exciting. Can you let us know why you are using Chile as a base, and not McMurdo? We are lookign forward to following along.


Guest's picture
Great question, Jillian! The

Great question, Jillian! The answer is three-fold: one, the type of plane we are using this year does not allow us to land and, equally important, take off from ice runways. We have a DC-8 which is big and will accommodate all the instruments and people. Two, the Getz Ice Sheet and others in western Antarctica that we are specifically interested in this year are located closer to Chile, making that base a good choice. Third, clearance issues to bring teams to Antarctica are challenging, expensive and difficult to obtain, but not impossible... next year we will use an Orion P3 that can land and take off on the ice, AND base out of McMurdo! Excellent question! Keep them coming!

Kelsey M Haddock
Guest's picture
Safe Travels!

Hi Maggie-

Just wanted to pop in and send you good thoughts for safe travels and a most excellent scientific adventure! We will miss you at RMSEL, but know that you are doing some amazing things with NASA!


Jess Secrest
Guest's picture
Flight Conditions

What are the flight conditions inside the DC-8 aircraft. How long are you airborne for each flight.

Re: Jess Secrest commented on 9 October 2016 Preparations and...

Hi Jess!
Inside the DC-8 is pretty similar to a regular airplane in some ways.
Some of the things that are different are: lots of seats are missing,
and the ones that are there are first class sized, so it is more
comfortable, we have seat belts that include over-the-shoulder straps,
we must wear head-sets with audio channels and microphone, the cockpit
is wide open, and there are large metal racks bolted to the floor with
instruments and computers strapped onto them! There is a small galley
for warming up food too. Where I usually sit, there is a lot of leg room
so we can jump around or do pushups sometimes, but we don't get too wild
- there happens to be a $700,000 gravimeter right next to us! It is
pretty warm inside the plane, but the floor gets cold because the cargo
hold is not heated. The flights last 11-12 hours, which is pretty long.
We also land back where we started, so it feels a little weird! We make
sure to bring snacks on the flights, and extra clothes in case we get
cold or have to be diverted to land someplace else. There are survival
suites, rations and large life rafts if needed too. We were all trained
in basic survival, and the plane is sturdy. Its a great ride!

On 10/25/16 2:55 AM, PolarTREC wrote:

Guest's picture

Was the plane ever uncomfortable, or did it get get uncomfortable. If so what did you do to prevent that.


Hi Eli! The plane was actually pretty darn comfy! It was kept reasonably warm and the seats were wide. It is an older plane, but the seats were pretty comfy. The hardest part was not moving much so lots of people did sit-ups every hour on the hour! I did them sometimes and squats, sit ups too. On the few days we didn't fly, we all went for long walks or went running. I did yoga in my room too, so I got to stretch out. My knees hurt from not standing much - I know that sounds weird, but as a teacher, I'm on my feet all the time, so it was really different. Other than that, it was pretty nice! Thanks for the question!

Operation IceBridge Antarctica


Subscribe to the Operation IceBridge Antarctica journals using the form below.


Team Member

Maggie Kane's picture

Journal Details

Latitude: 39° 44' 31.355" N
Longitude: 104° 59' 29.512" W
Weather Summary: Warm and sunny
Temperature: 62* F

Operation IceBridge Antarctica Journals

Ask the Team