Medic Sought for Antarctic Winter Work

PARIS, June 9 (UPI) — The European Space Agency says it’s looking for someone with medical training to join the next crew to overwinter at an antarctic research station.

Officials said 13 people are now spending Antarctica’s winter season at the Concordia research station. The ESA said most research stations in Antarctica either close for the winter in February, or prepare for months of isolation, able to communicate with the outside world only via radio. The first summer expeditions won’t arrive until November.


“The French-Italian Concordia research station is one of the few permanent stations in Antarctica,” the ESA said. “Built on an ice plateau (10,500 feet) up in one of the remotest places on Earth, the station hosts many research projects, from meteorology and glaciology to astronomy, technology and human biology.”

Concordia’s winter isolation makes it, in many ways, similar to a space station, so the ESA says it’s interested in understanding how our bodies and minds adapt to such an extreme environment.

The space agency will sponsor one crew member with a medical background to spend the 2011 winter at Concordia. Residence in an ESA member state is required. The deadline for applications is July 7.

People interested can obtain more information at http://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/hsf_research/Call_for_concordia_MD_candidates_10_v3.pdf.

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