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21 Dec 2017

Belarusian polar explorers embark on another Antarctic endeavor

MINSK, 21 December (BelTA) – Belarusian polar explorers have started a new season in Antarctica, BelTA learned from the press service of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB).

Alexander Gaidashov, the leader of the 10th Belarusian Antarctic expedition, has reported to the NASB Presidium that the explorers had successfully unloaded the equipment and instruments using aircraft and started a new Antarctic season. “The equipment was unloaded in an emergency mode within three days. The aircraft operations would stop only when the wind speed exceeded 25 m/s. The cargo was delivered to the Belarusian Antarctic Station without any losses or damage. The operation was a success largely thanks to the thorough preparations made by the vanguard team of the expedition. I commend the dedication of every member of the expedition during the cargo operation, smooth and well-coordinated cooperation between the teams of the research vessel and the helicopter aircraft,” reads the report.

The expedition team members are safe and sound. The Belarusian Antarctic Station has necessary stocks of fuel, food, and medicines. The work is underway there to unload containers with expedition equipment and scientific instruments. The explorers are establishing a research base while also conducting primary technical activities.

The 10th Belarusian Antarctic Expedition was launched at the NASB on 8 November 2017. This year, seven Belarusians left for Antarctica to continue constructing the station and carrying out scientific research: the expedition leader Aleksei Gaidashov, radar operator Maksim Gorbatsevich, equipment operation and maintenance engineer Artur Ivashko, doctor Dmitry Kovko, mechanical engineer Aleksei Zakhvatov, geoscientist Pavel Shablyko, and building maintenance engineer Vladimir Nesterovich. Four of them have already been to Antarctica.

The team is to install modules and to conduct plenty of research in line with the government Antarctic exploration program. The expedition will monitor the current state of the Antarctic environment near the station, explore the state of the ozone layer and ultraviolet radiation, climate, and other natural parameters, analyze land-based and marine bioresources, assess the prospects for using them in the future, test custom-made instruments (radiometers, magnetometers, lidars, and others), to conduct a survey on snow and ice, marine environment, atmosphere, rocks, undertake geological, geophysical, geochemical, and other research into the Earth surface and sea bottom near the coasts of Antarctica to evaluate its mineral potential.

 

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