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A `PUT IN' ON A FROZEN FRONTIER. Scientists probe Antarctica like it was the moon

Under the glare of Antarctica's midnight sun, the huge Hercules cargo plane lands with skis on the desolate, mile-high glacier. Two geologists, Dr. Gunter Faure and Karen Taylor, jump out and stride into the driving snow, ready to set up camp in the uncharted frontier of the frozen continent.

Bulky clothing and thermal boots enables them to withstand the shock of a temperature below -35 degrees F.

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``Get that radio set up'' is the first thing on their mind. Until they have radio contact with home base, the aircraft commander won't leave them at the scene. With less than an hour of fuel left, the plane waits to make sure the radio works and supplies are unloaded.

Just a few days before this ``put in,'' another group found themselves headed back into the aircraft for a return to home base instead of embarking on what some describe as the greatest adventure of their lives. The problem: Neither of their two radios would function.

Thus began yet another ``put in'' for a group of American scientists, who are being dropped into 20 similiar sites this year for up to 21/2 months, probing unknown geological secrets under the ice.

``Put ins'' are serious business with the United States Navy VXE-6 Squadron supporting the National Science Foundation research here.

The 1984/85 austral summer (starting last November and ending next month) involves 355 science and 900 support personnel with a total of l05 research projects. -- 30 --{et

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