1 00:00:00,010 --> 00:00:04,040 You could say Kyle 2 00:00:04,060 --> 00:00:08,080 Krabill is fond of his four-wheeler. But that's not what made him 3 00:00:08,100 --> 00:00:12,140 carefully pack it for travel, outfit it with specialized equipment 4 00:00:12,160 --> 00:00:16,150 like a GPS tracker, and bring it along 5 00:00:16,170 --> 00:00:20,170 on a 10,000 mile trip from his home in Virginia to the frozen 6 00:00:20,190 --> 00:00:24,220 continent of Antarctica. 7 00:00:24,240 --> 00:00:28,240 Twice a year, Kyle takes part in a NASA mission called 8 00:00:28,260 --> 00:00:32,250 Operation IceBridge. He and he colleagues Robbie and John 9 00:00:32,270 --> 00:00:36,320 travel to both poles to measure our planet's changing ice with the use of lasers 10 00:00:36,340 --> 00:00:40,340 mounted on aircraft. But to make sure that data is accurate, 11 00:00:40,360 --> 00:00:44,380 the entire mission relies on precise calibration 12 00:00:44,400 --> 00:00:48,460 basically they need to know exactly where the ground is. 13 00:00:48,480 --> 00:00:52,470 Usually, they both set up ground stations 14 00:00:52,490 --> 00:00:56,510 and also drive around on a level surface, like a runway, to get a reference 15 00:00:56,530 --> 00:01:00,560 map of a known elevation. But for the first time last fall, 16 00:01:00,580 --> 00:01:04,580 IceBridge was flying out of McMurdo Station in Antarctica, a place 17 00:01:04,600 --> 00:01:08,610 with not much bare earth. And the runway? A floating 18 00:01:08,630 --> 00:01:12,670 sheet of ice in McMurdo sound, which moves up and down with the tides 19 00:01:12,690 --> 00:01:16,690 every day. The solution? A trip to nearby 20 00:01:16,710 --> 00:01:20,730 Black Island. Kyle Krabill: The reason it's named Black Island is because the wind blows 21 00:01:20,750 --> 00:01:24,780 so hard, all the time, it blows the snow off. It's good for us because 22 00:01:24,800 --> 00:01:28,800 we want to, measure, the actual dirt, on the island. 23 00:01:28,820 --> 00:01:32,830 The road that goes down it, bad for us because it's a very tough 24 00:01:32,850 --> 00:01:36,850 place to get to and do some work. Narrator: The plan: wait for a 25 00:01:36,870 --> 00:01:40,870 calm enough day for the McMurdo helicopter squad to be able to ferry the 26 00:01:40,890 --> 00:01:44,890 ATV over to the island, followed by Kyle, Robbie, and John. 27 00:01:44,910 --> 00:01:48,950 (music) 28 00:01:48,970 --> 00:01:52,990 On the first attempt, 29 00:01:53,010 --> 00:01:57,060 they only made it halfway there. 30 00:01:57,080 --> 00:02:01,140 31 00:02:01,160 --> 00:02:05,150 32 00:02:05,170 --> 00:02:09,170 But finally, the four-wheeler made the trip, 33 00:02:09,190 --> 00:02:13,210 followed by the crew. 34 00:02:13,230 --> 00:02:17,270 (music) 35 00:02:17,290 --> 00:02:21,280 (music) 36 00:02:21,300 --> 00:02:25,300 (music) 37 00:02:25,320 --> 00:02:29,350 Kyle Krabill: For this the entire thing was different than we've ever done 38 00:02:29,370 --> 00:02:33,410 It wasn't an easy thing. Any time you 39 00:02:33,430 --> 00:02:37,450 deal with helicopter operations and a place where the wind can blow 40 00:02:37,470 --> 00:02:41,490 up to 160 miles an hour, it's a tough place 41 00:02:41,510 --> 00:02:45,520 to work, it's a tough environment to work in. 42 00:02:45,540 --> 00:02:49,560 (music) 43 00:02:49,580 --> 00:02:53,580 The adventure was really fun. It was something different, and the day ended up 44 00:02:53,600 --> 00:02:57,630 looking really clean, and it worked well. 45 00:02:57,650 --> 00:03:01,670 (music) 46 00:03:01,690 --> 00:03:05,730 Narrator: A job well done, it was time to ferry the ATV back to McMurdo, 47 00:03:05,750 --> 00:03:09,750 and when the campaign was over, return 10,000 miles to the 48 00:03:09,770 --> 00:03:13,790 Eastern Shore of Virginia, where Kyle and his four-wheeler would have quite a story 49 00:03:13,810 --> 00:03:17,840 to tell. 50 00:03:17,860 --> 00:03:21,870 (helicopter sounds) 51 00:03:21,890 --> 00:03:25,900 (helicopter sounds) 52 00:03:25,920 --> 00:03:29,960 (helicopter sounds) 53 00:03:29,980 --> 00:03:33,980 (helicopter sounds) 54 00:03:34,000 --> 00:03:38,020 (helicopter sounds) 55 00:03:38,040 --> 00:03:42,080 (helicopter sounds) 56 00:03:42,100 --> 00:03:46,110 (helicopter sounds) 57 00:03:46,130 --> 00:03:50,160 (helicopter sounds) 58 00:03:50,180 --> 00:03:54,240 (faint helicopter sounds) 59 00:03:54,260 --> 00:03:58,260 (beeping) 60 00:03:58,280 --> 00:03:59,186 (beeping)