Stocking Up On Fuel

It's been a busy few weeks.

We lost one of our main satellites, TDRS-F5, which provided my main blogging window as well. But! The second of three traverse crews arrived! The south pole overland traverse (SPoT) is a team of tractors that pulls a huge bulk of supplies from McMurdo Station to Pole. It takes them about 30 days to get here. The main thing they bring us is fuel.

One of the arches buried deep below the ice near the station os the fuel arch. The fuel arch contains 45 10,000 gallon tanks for a total capacity of 450,000 gallons. The goal of the summer is to put at least 350,000 gallons in it to burn over the winter. Every plane that comes in gives us some fuel, but usually no more then 1,500 gallons per plane. And with only 78 flights this summer, that just won't do. That's where SPoT comes in. Each traverse hauls five sleds of fuel, and each sled has eight 3,000 gallon bladders on it. That's roughly 120,000 gallons of fuel per traverse. And there's three traverses. Of course, the traverse keeps some fuel for themselves (there aren't any gas stations on the polar plateau), so we do end up not taking that full amount. But between the traverses and the planes, we most likely end up not killing the winterovers. Which is nice.

Jeremy Bloyd-Peshkin

Machinist, Welder, Driver, Adventurer, Mechanic, Always smells like something flammable.