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Tenth Belarusian expedition to land in Antarctica in December

Society 19.07.2017 | 19:56

MINSK, 19 July (BelTA) – The tenth Belarusian Antarctic expedition will land in Antarctica in December 2017, BelTA learned from the head of the expedition Aleksei Gaidashov.

Participants of the expedition will be selected in September, with 3-4 people per seat expected to apply. The candidates will have to pass psychological testing, medication examination, and an aptitude test. The number of specialists will depend on the available funding and goals of the expedition. The Russian ship Akademik Fedorov will deliver the polar explorers to Antarctica.

According to the preliminary schedule shared by Russia, the ship will reach Antarctica in mid-December. The expedition will be evacuated in late February – early March 2018. For the first time ever the Belarusian expedition will stay in Antarctica for the winter. The necessary conditions are available for it.

A session of the Belarusian interagency commission on Antarctic affairs took place at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus on 19 July. Decisions were made to enhance the scientific component of the tenth expedition and expand its activity with scientific projects that may produce results of international importance in the future.

The previous expedition returned to Belarus bearing scientific materials, which were collected in June 2017. The data was handed over to research labs and institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The polar explorers studied the atmosphere of Antarctica, coastal waters, flora and fauna, mineral resources and raw materials. Equipment developed by Belarusian scientists was used. The first results are expected to be available in August-September.

During the ninth expedition the second facility of the Belarusian Antarctic station was erected. The second module is designed as a compact lab combined with residential premises. The Russian ship Akademik Fedorov is used to deliver materials to build the station. Russian specialists also helped unload the cargoes.

Logistic assistance from Russia, joint scientific research efforts in Antarctica are stipulated by the Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in Antarctica.

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