Transcripts of Black_Island_full_youtube_hq

You could say Kyle Krabill is fond of his four-wheeler. But that's not what made him carefully pack it for travel, outfit it with specialized equipment like a GPS tracker, and bring it along on a 10,000 mile trip from his home in Virginia to the frozen continent of Antarctica. Twice a year, Kyle takes part in a NASA mission called Operation IceBridge. He and he colleagues Robbie and John travel to both poles to measure our planet's changing ice with the use of lasers mounted on aircraft. But to make sure that data is accurate, the entire mission relies on precise calibration basically they need to know exactly where the ground is. Usually, they both set up ground stations and also drive around on a level surface, like a runway, to get a reference map of a known elevation. But for the first time last fall, IceBridge was flying out of McMurdo Station in Antarctica, a place with not much bare earth. And the runway? A floating sheet of ice in McMurdo sound, which moves up and down with the tides every day. The solution? A trip to nearby Black Island. Kyle Krabill: The reason it's named Black Island is because the wind blows so hard, all the time, it blows the snow off. It's good for us because we want to, measure, the actual dirt, on the island. The road that goes down it, bad for us because it's a very tough place to get to and do some work. Narrator: The plan: wait for a calm enough day for the McMurdo helicopter squad to be able to ferry the ATV over to the island, followed by Kyle, Robbie, and John. (music) On the first attempt, they only made it halfway there. But finally, the four-wheeler made the trip, followed by the crew. (music) (music) (music) Kyle Krabill: For this the entire thing was different than we've ever done It wasn't an easy thing. Any time you deal with helicopter operations and a place where the wind can blow up to 160 miles an hour, it's a tough place to work, it's a tough environment to work in. (music) The adventure was really fun. It was something different, and the day ended up looking really clean, and it worked well. (music) Narrator: A job well done, it was time to ferry the ATV back to McMurdo, and when the campaign was over, return 10,000 miles to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where Kyle and his four-wheeler would have quite a story to tell. (helicopter sounds) (helicopter sounds) (helicopter sounds) (helicopter sounds) (helicopter sounds) (helicopter sounds) (helicopter sounds) (helicopter sounds) (faint helicopter sounds) (beeping) (beeping)