The worst place in the world to get deathly ill is the Amundsen-Scott research station in Antarctica — in the middle of winter.
Amundsen-Scott, which houses about 50 researchers and other staff at the South Pole, can be reached easily enough in the warmer months in the southern hemisphere (during the northern hemisphere’s winter). But from June to August the people there must fend for themselves — temperatures during this time of year are cold enough to turn jet fuel into sludge.
But right now a Lockheed-Martin contractor at the base is so sick that an air rescue is necessary. Two little Canadian Twin Otter bush planes, the only aircraft in the world able to make the 10-hour flight, are on their way down to conduct a rescue. Once they reach a warmer base on an island south of Argentina, one plane will take off into the polar night. The other will stay behind, ready to conduct a search-and-rescue operation if the first flight fails.
This is only the third time in history a plane will attempt this flight.
The Twin Otters, which are as of this writing flying across Mexico, should reach Antarctica by the end of the week. You can track their progress here, or learn more about the mission and past attempts here.
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