Every year the United States Antarctic Programs annual resupply vessel Ocean Giant travels from the United States, via Chile and Christchurch, New Zealand on it’s way to McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
The vessel carries approximately 1000 20 foot shipping containers of supplies and equipment needed to keep the station running for another year. The vessel offload is one of the busiest times of the year on station.
The Ocean Giant comes in via a channel cut in the sea ice by the US Coast Guards icebreaker Polar Star, which is the most powerful non-nuclear icebreaker in the world. The Antarctic Treaty prohibits leaving any waste on the continent so once the cargo is unloaded all the previous years waste and old equipment is loaded back on the vessel for transport and disposal back in the United States.
Click through to watch a nice time-lapse video of the evolution taken by one of the crew of the Ocean Giant on 6 GoPro cameras. Continue reading
South Pole Traverse 1 (SPot1) is on it’s way back from South Pole Station to McMurdo. Traverse 2 (SPoT2) is about 400 miles out from Pole and it seems the tracks on the Caterpillar Challenger tractors are delaminating.
A bit of a concern and replacement tracks will need to be flown out to be replaced in the field.
Caterpillar Challenger Tractor Unit
Where else would you get to play with big boys toys like this.
This is a cool video check it out in HD…
Each Austral summer we send several traverses on their 1000 mile journey carting over 100,000 gallons of fuel in bladders from the US Antarctic Programs McMurdo Station on Ross Island to our South Pole Station. Continue reading