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NASA Flies Mission to Map Ice Cover Across Antarctica, Live-Tweets the Whole Thing

Today, scientists from its IceBridge mission embarked on an 11-hour flight over West Antarctica, and they live-tweeted the whole thing. With pics and a Q+A session to boot.
November 1, 2012, 12:00am

Just a quick suggestion: follow NASA on twitter. Today, scientists from its IceBridge mission embarked on an 11-hour flight over West Antarctica, and they live-tweeted the whole thing. With pics and a Q+A session to boot.

IceBridge is the largest survey of Earth’s polar ice cover ever attempted. According to NASA, over six years, it will “yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice” and will “provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.”

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In addition to satellite monitoring from the aptly named ICE, that means plane-based missions, too. Like today’s trip to the Ronne Ice Shelf.

They started early.

Meet the crew.

They outlined their flight path:

Replete with helpful geographical contextualizers.

The NASA scientists discuss the mission at length:

During the Q+A, they answered a few questions from followers, including mine:

And you get a sense of the scenery—they can’t post many pics live, because it turns out that there just isn’t enough bandwith in the middle of Antarctica to upload hi-res photos.

And how’d it all go? Better than expected.

There you have it. An entire arduous Antarctic science expedition laid out, in real-time, in a few hundred characters. Not a bad way to kill an afternoon.