Week 5 at the Pole

Friday, February 10, 2017 - 10:30am

Green tomatoe harvested from South Pole greenhouse
Martin Wolf, IceCube/NSF

Winter is just around the corner, but the South Pole greenhouse doesn’t know about it.  Fresh vegetables are growing in there.  IceCube winterover Martin had some greenhouse training last week, and harvested a striking (but not very ripe looking) tomato.  The greenhouse produces tomatoes and other greens so that station folks can occasionally enjoy a salad during the winter, when there’s no possibility of fresh food making it to the Pole for the duration. 


Outside, things were less green—more blue and white.  Bulldozers were working under a bright sun to redistribute snow in a wide area around the IceCube Lab in order to prevent drift during the winter.  Also last week, the third South Pole Traverse, called SPOT3, arrived at the Pole.  The traverse brought more than 100,000 gallons of fuel from McMurdo Station on the coast.  The fuel is stored in large bladders, seen in the bottom image spread out across the snow, between the DSL and MAPO buildings on the left and the traverse’s tractor modules on the right.

Two bulldozers moving snow
Martin Wolf, IceCube/NSF

Distant view of South Pole traverse bladders spread out on snow
Martin Wolf, IceCube/NSF