Things are getting real.
On my last day working as a family doctor, I shipped my first bag the long way down. It’s been roughly 3 months since I posted ‘Another white Christmas..’ on my FB timeline.
It all started with a job offer I saw on the ESA (European Space Agency) website:
TEST SPACECRAFT PILOTING SKILLS – IN ANTARCTICA
ESA is looking for a medical doctor to spend a year at the remote Concordia Antarctic station. Like a martian outpost can be imagined, you will be away for over a year and cut off from the rest of the world, living and working with 15 colleagues to conduct science in preparation for missions to the Red Planet.
Temperatures can drop to –80°C, and the Sun disappears completely for four months at the French-Italian base in winter. Concordia sits on white Antarctic plateaus at 3200 m above sea-level, so its already extreme environment is compounded by a reduced air-pressure – even more for its inhabitants to deal with.
Hell yeah! I got the job! And now it’s getting real. This week I start with my first training to become the next ESA Research MD. It’s a time of firsts and lasts. A lot of firsts and more and more lasts, for now. Ill be back, January 2017!
Estimated time of departure: November 17!