After more than two years since launching the SuperTIGER Long Duration Balloon, a joint team of scientists, mountaineers and support personnel finally recovered the buried instrument from a remote spot in the middle of Antarctica earlier this year.
SuperTIGER, for Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder, had flown over Antarctica from December 2012 to January 2013 to collect data for a study on the origin of cosmic rays, which are actually particles that constantly bombard the Earth’s atmosphere. Researchers can use cosmic rays to understand galactic processes and structures.
The previous recovery effort was thwarted by the partial U.S. government shutdown in late 2013. This recovery, however, would be no ordinary instrument retrieval.
“The preference is to have the payload land close to McMurdo [Station] so the recovery can be conducted in the form of day trips, and doesn’t require a deep field camp,” said scientist Thomas Hams of NASA.
But this one landed at a remote spot somewhere roughly between Union Glacier and South Pole in West Antarctica, requiring a deep-field, expedition-style recovery.
Source:: Antarctic Sun Featured Articles