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11 January, 2002


No, we're all still here at Palmer Station, not the South Pole. However, I have asked everyone here to help me think up good math problems, based on the work that they do. Dave Bresnahan gave me this problem. Dave is the National Science Foundation Systems Manager of Operations and Logistics for Polar Programs. Dave is here at Palmer Station for two months as the NSF Representative. He is connected by email to all the U.S. Antarctic field stations. Dave used an actual, current situation at the South Pole to write this problem. He also gave me the photos.

South Pole FY02 (Fiscal Year 2002) fuel requirements through 2/15/02

If South Pole Station requires 324,512 gallons of fuel before the flying season ends about 15 February and a gallon of fuel weights 6.8 pounds and the aircraft average payload delivered to Pole is 26,000 pounds, how many LC-130 flights are required to deliver the fuel? Assuming six flying weeks remain, how many flights per week just for the fuel delivery?

The American flag flying at the geographic South Pole

These are the flags of the twelve nations that were the original signatories (those who signed) of the Antarctic Treaty when it went into effect in 1961. The Antarctic Treaty reserves the area south of 60 degrees latitude for scientific investigation and international cooperation. It is a zone of peace; the Antarctic Treaty prohibits military bases, weapons testing, and other military actions.

This is a view of the Amunndsen-Scott South Pole Station from the air.

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