The on time arrival at the airport must have seemed the warmest homecoming after 18 days in the icy Antarctica. The four members of the Antarctic expedition were back at a hero's party from nearly three weeks at the bottom of the Earth. This is just an unbelievable emotional event, this is history.

Bad weather kept the scientific expedition in Antarctica for about 10 more days than anticipated, so when the arrival day finally came, the welcome party was prepared. An hour before the plane had arrived, immediate relatives and friends sat in black plastic airport chairs watching closely the large windows on the runway and glimpsing at their watches. Along the hallway, 25 students draw together with instructors and parents, eating turkey sandwiches and were about to coddle their instructors with hugs.

A lot of people brought along a bunch of heart shaped balloons, a dozen roses and a mass of made by hand welcome logos bearing pictures of penguins. Four members of the team brought two containers of meteorites which will later be taken photographs, cut open and tested and talks about their experience during the expedition. The quest also included two astronauts who worked at NASA before, a NASA scientist and a resident of Chicago who contributed outstandingly in funding part of the expedition. The mission brought the group to the Patriot Hills of Antarctica, South Pole and Thiel Mountains even though it is not so high as the Rockies, but just as spectacular.

Safely back in the States, one team member has one complaint about the technology the team took to Antarctica. Inadequate were the satellite phones. They made them think of what they left behind. Upon returning to his populated continent, he will continue to be a professor of astronomy and geology.

In the past, they have experienced this kind of adventure in an unfamiliar territory already. A solar eclipse from the coast of the Black Sea in Turkey was seen by two of them last summer together with their scientific team. Whilst they were there they experienced a situation similar to the unanticipated longer stay they had in Antarctica. At the time there was an intense earthquake and so they stayed long after the solar eclipse was over. Only a 5.5 magnitude was felt by the two for they were 200 miles away from the epicenter of the earthquake at the time.

Antarctica was a much better experience with nothing but blue ice fields, snow covered scenery, as well as camaraderie which he considered the best part of the trip. When it comes to the team that had a retired NASA scientist it was described as an exclusive club. In truth the team is rather down to earth and very approachable as well. Fun and not egos were favored. Aside from snowmobiling, what they did in Antarctica even during their unexpected stay was read, cross country ski, and talk.

Around one month ago one 24 year old member of the team showed reporters and staff members her outfit for the trip which included heavy gloves, boots, goggles, and an energetic smile. She wore a cheerful smile upon returning with some sneakers, jeans, and a sweatshirt. In her classes, space science was included and this led to her being on the trip to the Mars like continent. For the students, it was a rare learning experience. Learning for kids is tying everything in. Kids are able to live science and history when their teacher is an explorer.

The main focus of her experimentations was temperature, rocks, and gravity, similar to the students' focus back home. Data were transmitted to students from 11 classrooms via satellite phone and email. Much entertainment came from the questioning and answering done. Much variety was to blame for why the answers were funny. Students learned about how it is possible for the results to change when you conduct the experiment in a snowy desert where the temperature can go well below zero.

About Author / Additional Info: