Operation IceBridge, NASA’s airborne survey of changes in polar ice, is closing in on the end of its eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment, and will likely tie its 2012 campaign record for the most research flights carried out during a single Antarctic season.
“We are probing the most remote corners of Spaceship Earth to learn more about changes that affect all of us locally, such as how ice sheets are contributing to sea level rise,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman on her very first flight over Antarctica with the IceBridge team on Nov. 17. “At NASA we explore: not only space, but also our home planet.”
“Operation IceBridge is particularly well suited to measure changes in polar ice: it carries probably the most innovative and precise package of instruments ever flown over Antarctica,” Newman said.
“This campaign was possibly the best Antarctic campaign IceBridge has ever had,” said John Sonntag, IceBridge mission scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “We flew as many flights as we did in our best prior campaigns down here, and we certainly got more science return out of each flight than we have before, due to steadily improving instrumentation and also to some exceptionally good weather in the Weddell Sea that favored our sea ice flights.”