US Air Force attempts Antarctica night-vision flightA US Air Force plane left New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. for Antarctica early Friday on a key mission that could pave PAVE Cardiology A clinical trial–Post AV Node Ablation Evaluation the way for year-round flights to the bottom of the world.
The pilot of the C-17 Globemaster will attempt to make the first-ever landing in Antarctica using night-vision goggles goggles,
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If successful, it could change the lives of people who spend long, dark polar winters on the continent by allowing regular winter flights, Lieutenant Colonel Jim McGann, the commander of the New Zealand-based Operation Deep Freeze Operation Deep Freeze (OpDFrz or ODF) is the codename for a series of US missions to Antarctica, beginning with "Operation Deep Freeze I" in 1955–56, followed by "Operation Deep Freeze II", "Operation Deep Freeze III", and so on. , told The Press newspaper.
If scientists could travel to and from Antarctica more frequently, it could boost the amount of research done, and would also mean winter medical evacuations could be carried out.
"At the moment we make that last trip in February and then don't come back until August. If we can go in and out a couple of times a month, we can go and get people out or drop more people off," McGann said.
Pilots have trained for 18 months in simulators for the night-vision landing on the 10-kilometre (six-mile) runway at the US Antarctic research centre at McMurdo Station McMurdo Station is the largest community in Antarctica (capable of supporting up to 1,258 residents) and a science research center operated by the United States through the United States Antarctic Program, a branch of the National Science Foundation. .