The last flight of ATom2 took us from Anchorage, Alaska back to NASA Armstrong in Palmdale, California. As we pre-flighted in the wintery Alaskan pre-dawn, we noticed what looked like a protestor on the side of the road next to the ramp where we’d parked the DC8. We couldn’t read his sign, and wondered if he … More Saving the world and wrapping up ATom 2
A few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, I woke up to the smell of smoke and the sound of helicopters overhead. There was a wildfire up sunshine canyon, very close to our town of Boulder. My initial thoughts were of course to check all my friends and neighbors were ok, and if there was … More Rapid Response Wildfire Measurements
We made a hasty exit from Thule just before the first direct sunlight of the year hit the base, and, importantly for the mission, just before a large storm system rolled in that might have trapped us up there for many days had we tarried any longer. As we ascended to our highest flight level, … More West with the Night
A few hours into the flight from the Azores to Greenland we started seeing sea ice below and then the Greenland ice sheet. I’d never seen this before and it fascinated me. Sometimes you could see large rock formations poking through the top, other times it was a flat white waste-land, with drifts and patterns … More Ice sheets, arctic foxes and partying like you’ve not seen the sun in 4 months!
Terciera island, in the Azores, was beautiful. Stunning coastline – ranging from sandy beaches to dramatic cliffs, turquoise water, charming Portuguese towns, fields of cows separated by dry stone walls everywhere. The first day we were there I had to do some maintenance on the plane, but in the evening we drove around the coast … More ATom in the Azores
Ascension Island, 1600km west of Africa, 2250km east of Brazil, and 1300km north west of its closest neighbor, St Helena (population around 4000) is rather remote. It’s also rather young, having been formed by volcanic activity just a million years ago. We’re grateful that it was, since it provides us with a strategic place to land part way up … More Island Hopping: ATom Style!
NASA ATom arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile, on the Straights of Magellan at 3am on Saturday. The 8h time difference from New Zealand, and losing a day on the ground due to our delayed departure from Christchurch rather threw most of us. I slept a few hours on arrival, then used Saturday morning to process … More A day of extremes: from the furthest south from the most remote