29 Ukrainian Antarctic expedition departs for the station

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29 Ukrainian Antarctic expedition departs for the station

The 29th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition has departed for the Akademik Vernadsky station. It left from Kyiv on March 11, 2024.

This team is to replace the winterers from 28 UAE teams who have been working there for almost a year. The new expedition has a long way to go: by bus to Poland, by plane to Chile, and from the port of Punta Arenas by the Noosphere icebreaker to Antarctica.

29 Українська антарктична експедиція

Third rotation during the war

“This is the third rotation of winterers we have conducted during the full-scale war. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find professionals for summer expeditions, as many polar explorers or ideal candidates are at the front. We have already had several cases when potential winterers became military personnel during the selection process,” says Yevhen Dykyi, Director of the National Antartic Science Center.

But despite all the difficulties, he said, Ukraine is not going to stop the Antarctic program. After all, Antarctica is a window to the world of global science, and the presence on the icy continent has extraordinary prospects.

директор НАНЦ Євген Дикий

The composition of the expedition

The 29th UAE consists of 14 participants who were selected in an open competition. Among them are 9 scientists (3 biologists, meteorologists, and geophysicists) and 5 representatives of the life support team (a doctor, a cook, a system administrator, a system mechanic, and a diesel engineer).

For the first time in the last 27 years, 4 women will work in the expedition (previously, only the second UAE of 1997-1998 had so many polar women). It is noteworthy that one of the participants, geophysicist Anna Soina, went to her second wintering (previously she was in the 25th UAE 2020-2021).

Biologist Tetiana Bahlay, meteorologist Valentyna Harbarchuk, and doctor Ivanna Koturbash are going on their first expedition.

The team consists mostly of newcomers (ten), but they will be led by one of the most experienced polar explorers in Ukraine, geophysicist Yuriy Otruba. This will be his eighth wintering trip.

Throughout the year, the 29th UAE will carry out research in three main areas: biology, geophysics, and meteorology, as well as support the work of the Akademik Vernadsky station.

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