11/25/04: Antarctica (1992)

ByTED KOPPEL

Nov. 25, 2004 — -- Over the years we've had a number of technological firsts here at Nightline. We did the first live report from the base of Mount Everest, but in November of 1992 Science reporter Michael Guillen did the first ever live broadcast from Antarctica.

From Nightline November 1992:

MICHAEL GUILLEN: So I'm able to speak to you live tonight because of an unprecedented system of laser beams, microwaves, fiber optics, and communication satellites, all put together by Engineers Mark Leon and Pat Smith and their colleagues at NASA and the National Science Foundation.

GUILLEN: The Antarctic is a continent of superlatives. It is the coldest, driest, windiest continent on the planet. Only about 50,000 people have ever visited this place, and no wonder, considering what one has to go through to get here.

ANTARCTICA EXPERT: You will have the new polar fleece jacket in your kits. For some of your kits out there which weve recently packed you will now have the new wind pants and liners.

GUILLEN: : It begins in Christ Church, New Zealand, where we are given protective clothing. This being summer in Antarctica the temperatures will only get down to about 80 below zero Fahrenheit.

We are easily jaded about our technological breakthroughs. Believe it or not, back in 1992, broadcasting live from Antarctica was a big deal.

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