Russian Arctic research station operational
Russia’s newest floating Arctic research station“North Pole-39” is now operational and has already sent its first weather observations.
The nuclear-powered icebreaker “Rossiya” set out from Murmansk three weeks ago to search for a suitable ice floe for the research station and to pick up scientists and equipment from the old research station, called “North Pole-38”.
The ice floe where 16 Russian scientists will spend the coming winter is 700 meters long, 400 meters wide and approximately 3 meters thick. The starting point for the expedition is 84°N 150°W, RIA Novosti reports.
The scientists will conduct oceanographic, glacial, meteorologic, hydrographic and other types of observations while the research station floats along with the sea ice.
The first scientific drifting ice station in the world, “North Pole-1” was established in May 1937. Since 1954 Soviet "NP" stations worked continuously, with one to three such stations operating simultaneously each year, according to Wikipedia. In the post-Soviet era, Russian exploration of the Arctic by drifting ice stations was suspended for twelve years, and was resumed in 2003.