"My trip to the South Pole began on Friday, October 15th, when I flew from Seattle to Los Angeles, took a shuttle to Palmdale, then a cab to the NASA Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility (DAOF). This is a giant hanger in the Mojave Desert that contains the NASA DC-8 we'd be calling our home for the next few weeks. At midnight, Sunday, we departed Palmdale on the plane for an 11-hour flight to Santiago, Chile. We spent Monday night in Santiago, then on Tuesday, flew on to Punta Arenas to begin Antarctic operations. We are to return to Palmdale on November 23....."