Asking About the Satellites

Magen Hardy

To: Melissa Hardy []

Dear Dave, Thanks for writing and answering my questions. I think that it is extremely neat that I am getting the chance to communicate with some one in Antarctica. Where are the satellites that you're tracking located in space and what is their purpose? I always have enjoyed visiting the NASA center in Florida. I believe it to be very wonderful that I can talk with some one who works there. What do you eat in Antarctica? What do you do in your free time? Do you like to read books? IF so , what kind? I guess that's all for now, bye!



Hi Magen,

I am very sorry it took so long to respond, but I have been very busy. The satellites we are tracking are close to the earth, and come over every 90 minutes. They move in an orbit from pole to pole, and do not stay stationary like the TV satellites. They have a special radar that is being used to monitor the ice movement near the poles. A lot of people do not realize that the polar ice caps are glaciers that are slowly moving. At the south pole, they put a new marker pole in every year because it moves a few feet per year.

When I am not here, I work at a NASA center in Wallops Island, Virginia. Matt, who works with me, used to work at the NASA center in Houston, Texas, and has gone to Florida to watch Shuttle launches.

We have very good food here, and the meals change day to day. It is like a school cafeteria, but could you imagine eating 3 meals in your school cafeteria every day for months? I think anyone would get tired of eating there. Most of the non-perishable food comes by ship once a year. It is not uncommon for the food to be out of date before it gets here. I have seen juice, grated cheese, snack foods, and others 2 to 3 years past the expiration date. Last winter they had a freeze accident in the soda storage area, and for many months the only soda in the store was diet Mountain Dew.

I do not have a lot of free time. In my free time I write to kids like you, as well as listen to music, read, and watch TV. I like to read computer books, and learn more about computers. Thanks for writing,
David Hess NK3T
Presently living in beautiful downtown McMurdo, Antarctica.

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