Challenging Habitat Blog


There is a discussion out there whether some billionaire or other can call themselves an astronaut after getting to the edge of space (or a smidgen beyond) in their own craft.

The world is burning.

The world is flooding.

People are dying because of the impacts of a change in climate that is a direct result of our burning of fossil fuels for the last 200 years.

For me, the debate about space tourism should be about sustainability.

Not about labels.

For me, the question is about the balance between self-gratification and the common good.

Not about gaining wings.

For me, blasting into space to then exclaim your love of the planet is a little off the mark – don’t these people think?

Okay, none of us are perfect: we drive cars and go on holidays, we eat meat and imported fruit out of season, we use single-use plastic and internet server time…we buy stuff we want, not need…

So, this question is important: where do we, as individuals, draw the line between pleasure and sustainability?

The Antarctic Quest 21 expedition is gathering momentum in more than one way:

  • scientific and expedition equipment is being accumulated
  • transport logistics are being arranged
  • the crowd funding effort has exceeded the initial target of £30,000 and new rewards are made available for the final push to reach the ‘stretch’ target of £50,000
  • …and lots of other things continue to happen in the background…

And still, more scientific projects are added to the expedition portfolio: the team is collecting data for NASA’s GLOBE project, and we are talking with another scientist from the University of Plymouth about sampling to help elucidate the biogeography of the Antarctic continent, with focus on invertebrates. A potentially exciting addition to the strong emphasis on climate change and pollution research you can already read more about here.

Only a few days left to support this expedition through our Crowdfunding Page – you can donate or purchase one of the exclusive rewards, which now includes a fabulous, signed, photo book charting the journey across the ice!

I’ve been living in England for some 28 years and mostly it’s been a positive experience.

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If you want to get an impression of how much work is behind those modelling results we are seeing on the news most days?

I’ve started to narrate some of the most recent peer-reviewed publications of the scientists for which the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition will collect data…the first one is about Dr Andrew Smedley’s work on how sunlight interacts with bubbles in blue ice.

Read it here:

The Antarctic Quest 21 expedition team are hugely excited to announce that we have smashed through the 25% threshold for our crowdfunded campaign to enable our expedition to go ahead and to help allow us to deliver our educational outreach and legacy programmes.

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Some people combine serious thought with fun and art…Phil Hambling is one of them:

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Join the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition launch event and support climate science through the crowdfunding event at

Check out the details at

I’ve been blogging for a while about the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition that will take a team of eight onto the Forbidden Plateau on the central spine of the Antarctic Peninsula to install scientific equipment and down to the shores of the Weddell Sea to do some more of the same…see my previous posts here and here.

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We all know that life is full of uncertainty and most of the time, we don’t notice it too much, let alone worry about it. We’re used to it.

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Challenging Habitat is changing…my blog will become just one of a range of activities I’m sharing online, and this will soon be reflected in an additional website.

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