Research at Concordia station

Concordia is a joint French-Italian inland Antarctic research station run by the French Polar Institute and Italian Antarctic Programme. Every year it hosts a human research protocol coordinated by ESA and Concordia partners, supplied by universities and research institutions from across Europe.

Concordia

Credits: A. Kumar

As well as offering around 9 months of complete isolation, Concordia is located at around 3200 metres altitude, so the crew has to adapt to chronic hypobaric hypoxia – they live with a third less oxygen than is available at sea level.

During the Antarctic winter, the crew endures 4 months of complete darkness: the sun disappears from the beginning of May, and is not seen again until late August.

Concordia sunset

Credits: A. Kumar

Living in isolation with a European crew of 13 and in the world's most extreme environment creates an ideal opportunity to conduct research into the adaptation of human psychology and physiology.

Space research has been conducted in the polar regions for many years – offering conditions on Earth similar to long-term space travel.

Concordia is a joint French-Italian inland Antarctic research station run by the French Polar Institute and Italian Antarctic Programme. Every year it hosts a human research protocol coordinated by ESA and Concordia partners, supplied by universities and research institutions from across Europe.

Concordia

Credits: A. Kumar

As well as offering around 9 months of complete isolation, Concordia is located at around 3200 metres altitude, so the crew has to adapt to chronic hypobaric hypoxia – they live with a third less oxygen than is available at sea level.

During the Antarctic winter, the crew endures 4 months of complete darkness: the sun disappears from the beginning of May, and is not seen again until late August.

Concordia sunset

Credits: A. Kumar

Living in isolation with a European crew of 13 and in the world's most extreme environment creates an ideal opportunity to conduct research into the adaptation of human psychology and physiology.

Space research has been conducted in the polar regions for many years – offering conditions on Earth similar to long-term space travel.

Dr. Alexander Kumar has been living in Concordia since January 2012, the last plane left in February and the crew has been living in isolation since then.

The last rays of Sun were seen in the beginning of May. The crew has remained positive in its outlook and as a team worked through challenges effectively and efficiently.

Alexander Kumar

Comments

3 Comments

  • Nabi Suray says:

    Dear Dr.Kumar,
    I would like t o have the names ane email adresses of the winterover team in Concordia in order to communicate with them personally.
    Thanks in advance for your assistance.
    Best regards.

    Nabi Suray

  • We all hope you to have a nice Antarctic winter. Take care the Greek guy on your base.
    Cheers!

  • Many thanks for keeping us posted on activities at Concordia Station.

    Just to note that ESA Earth Observation also has a healthy list of activities ongoing at the Concordia Base. This summer we had extensive flights to collect gravity and L-band radiometer data in support of the ESA GOCE and SMOS Earth Explorer missions.
    Meanwhile, we have an L-band tower mounted radiometer that is providing year-round operational measurements in support of the calibration monitoring for our Earth Explorer mission SMOS. See also: http://blogs.esa.int/campaignearth/2012/12/19/scientists-brave-the-elements-to-support-esas-water-mission/

    Take care of yourselves over the winter months!

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