Berlin. We’ve had a problem…

In: Antarctica

“Okay, Berlin, we’ve had a problem here.”
Concordia - 2016

People often refer to Concordia as the “White Mars”, and not just because of the harsh winter extremes, but also its remote location. It is completely inaccessible for 9 months a year, and in the 3 summer months that it is accessible, it’s still quite a journey before the Two Towers emerge from the miles and miles of snow and ice.

For the BONE study, a mobile CT-scanner had to make the long journey to Antarctica, and you can only imagine my excitement to unbox my new toy.  That excitement was quickly dampered when I opened the box and saw the damage. Somewhere on the way from Berlin, maybe while being shipped to New Zealand or flown to Mario Zucchelli station, possibly on the final flight to the Concordia Station, a forklift drove  30cm into my precious cargo and destroyed the front of my new CT-scanner.

“Okay, Berlin, we’ve had a problem here.”

Just like in space, you can technically call a repair guy, but the chances of him showing up are slim to none. So when I reported the condition of my scanner to Berlin, the team delegated me to be the repair guy this time. Luckily, the damage was mainly with the external part, and after disassembling it to remove little pieces of plastic from everywhere inside the machine, it seemed to work… Yes!

“If you can’t fix it with Duct-tape, you’re not using enough Duct-tape!”

For cosmetic reasons, I opted to abandon my Duct-tape idea and go with a more transparent option. After changing a safety light and reassembling the machine, it was now time to test my repairs. The results were good! I did it.

“Okay, Berlin, we’ve fixed the problem here.”

Did I feel a little closer to the Apollo 13 crew? For sure. With all help so far away, it’s nice to see that all my years of playing with Technical Lego finally paid off and may have even given me my next job title!

Floris van den Berg, Repair Guy.

Temperature -33,5 C. Windchill -44.3 C. 24 hours of daylight.

Wanderlust Doc

With the speed of life

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