text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
News
design element
News
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
News Archive
News by Research Area
Arctic & Antarctic
Astronomy & Space
Biology
Chemistry & Materials
Computing
Earth & Environment
Education
Engineering
Mathematics
Nanoscience
People & Society
Physics
 

Email this pagePrint this page


Press Release 96-034
NSF Ship Delivers Emergency Provisions to Russian Antarctic Base

June 12, 1996

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Tonight and during the early hours of Thursday morning (EST), the National Science Foundation research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, plans to deliver approximately four tons of food to Russia's Mirny station. Thirty-eight people are spending the dark Antarctic winter on the Russian base, where temperatures are currently approximately 15 degrees Celsius below zero.

"Without NSF's aid, the Russian station's supplies would run out within several days," said Erick Chiang. The Russian resupply ship, Akademik Federov normally supplies the station, but is behind schedule due to mechanical problems. It is expected to reach another Russian station, Molodezhnayav within a week and to arrive at Mirny within several weeks. Currently, the Akademik Federov is operating at only about 70 percent of its propulsion capacity.

The U.S. National Science Foundation, which runs the U.S. Antarctic Research Program, has agreed for humanitarian reasons to provide emergency provisions to Mirny.

The Nathaniel B. Palmer routinely carries extra provisions because of the uncertainty of conditions in the Antarctic winter. The ship, one of two ice-breaking research vessels operated by NSF, was in the vicinity of Mirny on a scientific cruise to study circulation of the world ocean as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). The cruise began in South Africa and will end in Hobart, Australia; the cruise track follows the edge of Antarctica's sea ice. The humanitarian diversion to Mirny, requires only a minor (about 5 degrees of longitude) deviation from the planned course.

Mirny is the logistics base for a Russian inland station, Vostok, home of a U.S.-Russian-French ice core project which has produced the world's longest ice core for climate studies. Mirny is essential for Vostok's maintenance. Vostok is currently closed for the winter due to budget constraints. If Mirny is not resupplied, and if an emergency evacuation is necessary, next summer's research at Vostok could be threatened.

The NSF funds and manages the U.S. Antarctic Research Program. Each year, some 2,500 Americans support research on the Southern most continent. The NSF operates three year- round research stations and two research ships. On U.S. bases, the summer population exceeds 1,000 residents; about 250 people winter over.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Beth Gaston, NSF, (703) 292-8070, egaston@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

 

border=0/


Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page