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28 Oct 2014

Belarus to start deploying Antarctic station in 2015

MINSK, 28 October (BelTA) – The first components of the Belarusian Antarctic station are supposed to be deployed in 2015, BelTA learned from Alexei Gaidashov, head of the Belarusian Antarctic expedition.

“Work with the engineering equipment of the site for the sake of installing the first modules of the Belarusian Antarctic station in 2015 is one of the key tasks of the seventh Belarusian Antarctic expedition,” explained Alexei Gaidashov.

Preparations to send the seventh Belarusian Antarctic expedition are about to complete. The team will comprise five specialists. On 27 October four tonnes of expedition cargoes that included scientific observation instruments, communication means, and expedition gear was sent to Saint Petersburg where the research and expedition ship Akademik Fedorov will pick it up. The vessel will leave Saint Petersburg on 9 November. The Belarusian expedition team will leave Minsk one by one from 10 November through 2 December. “Our polar explorers will join the main body of the expedition along the course of the vessel,” noted Alexei Gaidashov.

The expedition will stay in Antarctica till mid-April 2015. The Belarusian polar explorers will carry out various kinds of research, including in the interest of the national space program. Members of the expedition will also test new hardware designed in Belarus for remote environmental probing.

The governments of Belarus and Russia signed the agreement on cooperation in Antarctica in the presence of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg on 15 March 2013. Within the framework of the agreement a working group has been created to put the agreement into practice. The working group has put together a joint action plan to carry out a series of scientific researches, logistic operations, and environmental protection efforts in Antarctica.

The plan to build the Belarusian Antarctic station was drafted in 2012 upon the relevant instruction of the Council of Ministers of Belarus. It was then approved by the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, and authorized by the Finance Ministry. The first phase of the Belarusian Antarctic station is supposed to be ready by 2018. The facility will comprise 8-10 modules that will be fitted out with everything necessary for the polar explorers to live comfortably and work.

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