Updated: Feb 14
The Antarctic remains a dream for most folks who live on Terra.
The secrets it holds fast in its icy claws are a thing of wonder.
There are many ways to get there and some programs have bases in Punta Arenas in Chile in South America for West Antarctica mission purposes.
The U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) is one of them.
The USAP brings two of its ice-capable research vessels, the Palmer and the Gould, to Punta Arenas several times a year.
From there they carry out research cruises and transport people and cargo to and from Palmer Station, the National Science Foundation’s research base on the Antarctic Peninsula.
In addition, USAP will sometimes base various aircraft at the Punta Arenas airport on their way to and from Antarctica.
The United States isn’t the only nation with a strong presence in Patagonia, BAS research teams from the U.K use Punta Arenas as a jumping off point for their research bases such as Rothera Station on the Antarctic Peninsula.
In the photo below we can see a BAS Dash-7 and Twin Otter aircraft on the ramp at the Punta Arenas airport.
In addition to the various Antarctic research programs working here, a number of companies that transport people, equipment and supplies to Antarctica fly in and out of Punta Arenas during the research season.
Below are an IL-76 cargo jet operated by Almaty Air and the port wing and engines of the NASA DC8.
This photo taken of the NASA DC-8 outer port engines in Punta Arenas
There are many secrets the various missions there are working on currently and some missions have new buildings that house the many scientists working there.
While on these missions there are opportunities to return to Punta Arenas and Chile or explore New Zealand.
I had no Idea these DC 8 Aircraft had four engines
The New Zealand base offers more supply variation by air into the Antarctic regions and emergency and critical part missions are flown as needed if the weather permits.
Some days the vistas are totally awesome
Some folks think the McMurdo station is very primitive but it ain't that bad, try Gnome in Alaska if you wanna know what primitive is.....
Well McMurdo station ain't downtown Dallas in Mid Summer but here are some views for ya. Good perk, the beer is always frosty!
This Town even has a sign!!
McMurdo Station from the Air
The McMurdo vista from Ob Hill
McMurdo Satellite view