Antarctic medical evacuation flight arrives at British Rothera Station
Twin Otter carrying two patients left South Pole early this morning
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The Twin Otter aircraft flying an Antarctic medical evacuation mission has arrived at the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera Station.
The plane, carrying two patients, arrived at Rothera at approximately 1:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) this afternoon. The plane left the National Science Foundation (NSF) Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in the early morning hours of June 22 EDT.
The aircraft arrived yesterday afternoon at the station, at which point the crew began a 10-hour rest period. Following crew rest, the team checked the weather at both the pole and Rothera and decided conditions warranted flying immediately north.
NSF determined that, to mitigate risks, the team would use the opportunity to evacuate a second patient. Both patients are seasonal employees through Lockheed Martin Antarctic Support Contract, the prime contract for operations and research support to NSF for the U.S. Antarctic Program.
Both patients now will be flown to a medical facility that provides a level of care not available at the South Pole. NSF is not discussing any details of the patients' medical conditions or providing any personal details.
For more background on the medical evacuation flight, please see this news release.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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