(RIA Novosti, 10 October 2010) -- The first day of aerial reconnaissance in the Arctic showed there were no suitable ice floes for a Russian drifting station to land on, expedition head Artur Chilingarov said on Saturday. The expedition is currently on board the Rossiya nuclear-powered icebreaker that will deliver the SP-38 polar station with 15 explorers to a drifting ice floe for a year-long stint.
During the two rounds of helicopter flights over an area of about 200 by 100 km a total of 12 ice floes in Ice Field No. 1 were surveyed, but none could meet the basic requirements, especially for thickness. They also lacked relatively even sections to build a landing strip on. Although high-resolution satellite imagery of the area was available it could not be completely relied on, Chilingarov said.
“You see how important it is to visit and inspect each potential site,” he said. The outcome was not unusual as Arctic sea ice had melted over the past summer to cover the third-smallest area on record, Vladimir Sokolov, deputy head the expedition, said. The Rossiya is headed for the next ice field it should reach shortly before daybreak for helicopter flights to resume.
Posted by Amanda Graham – 11 October 2010; 5:35:52 PM – Permalink
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