ESA-sponsored medical doctor Floris van den Berg has arrived at Concordia research station.
Floris has completed the long voyage via Geneva, Frankfurt, Singapore, Christchurch, a one-night stopover at Mario Zuchelli Station before the final destination Concordia where he will stay for a year.
All new arrivals need to acclimatise and get used to living with reduced oxygen – living in Concordia is similar to living at the top of the Mont Blanc mountain in terms of oxygen in the air.
Floris is unpacking boxes and settling into his new home and laboratory. The current ESA-sponsored medical doctor Beth Healey will be handing over the ESA experiments to Floris before she leaves.
“It has been a roller coaster of a year but I’ve had an amazing time and it’s strange to think in a few weeks I will be leaving ‘White Mars’. I’m still looking forward to doing the overland traverse from DDU back to Concordia (1,300km collecting snow samples for Bacfinder experiment), seeing some penguins and Antarctic wildlife, the return voyage by ship back to Cristchurch but perhaps most of all lying on a beach and jumping into the sea! I wish Floris an awesome year.”
This is what awaits Beth for the first leg of her long voyage home: