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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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  Monday, July 11, 2005

Our seven team members (Torry Akins, Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam, Kirby Mullenberg, David Braaten, John Paden, Timothy Rink, and Gunashekar Jayaraman) arrived in Albany, New York, yesterday and spent the night in nearby Schenectady. We woke at 4 a.m., and met in the hotel lobby at 4:45 a.m. to take cabs to Stratton Air National Guard Base where we would begin our trip to Greenland. Stratton is the home base to the unique heavy lift cargo planes that can land on snow and ice � the LC-130s. A retired LC-130 with skis greets you at the entrance to the base. We arrived at 5:20 a.m., loaded our luggage onto a pallet that would be moved by a forklift onto the plane, and waited nearly five hours until our plane took off. During this time we were weighed in with our carry-on luggage, had our passports checked, watched a safety video (where the escape hatches are located, how to put an emergency oxygen hood over our head, etc.), walked through a metal detector, and waited. We saw the first plane with the Air National Guard passengers take off for Greenland around 8 a.m. Finally, at 9:30, we were told to get on the bus to be taken to the plane. We were off the ground about half an hour later. The plane was packed with people (about 30) and cargo, so the allowable fuel payload was limited. We could not reach Greenland with this amount of fuel, so after 3 hours and 20 minutes, the plane landed in Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada, to refuel. Goose Bay is about half way along the route to Greenland. After about an hour, we were on our way again, and about 4 hours later we were in Greenland. Local time in western Greenland is two hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, so the local time was about 8:30 p.m. when we landed. We ate a pizza dinner at a local restaurant, were told to meet at 7 a.m. the next morning for our flight to Summit Camp up on the ice sheet, and headed to bed to get a few hours of sleep.

NOTE: This was entire journal entry, not just page 1.

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