News Science, 07/03/2018

Kharkivites Go to Antarctica for a Year

Participants of the 23rd Antarctic expedition are setting off to the Ukrainian Antarctic Station – the Vernadsky Research Base in a week.

The station is situated at Marina Point on Galindez Island in the Argentine Islands, 8 km from the continent.

The expedition is supposed to replace those scientists who have finished their yearly shift at the station and now will go home after rotation.

The 12 scientists and professionals have just completed their preparation and special training to work at the station for a full year. They have also been examined by doctors “as work at the Antarctic station not only requires professional skills but specific health conditions,” said the participants.

Two Kharkivites are included into the crew –  geophysicist Oleh Budanov, who works for Kharkiv Institute of Radio Astronomy, and doctor Kostyantyn Danylenko, an anesthesiologist at the Kharkiv central district hospital. Both expedition members are 45 years old.

“This is my sixth shift at the station,” says Oleh Budanov. “Despite the general opinion that it is very cold and weather conditions are extreme in Antarctica, we rarely have minus 20 C degrees there, the average temperature is about minus 5-10. We do our research mostly for scientific purposes. My area is geophysics and I am to continue the research my colleague had been doing during the previous season.”

As a matter of fact, most expedition members are experienced Antarctica explorers, only three of them are going to the station for the first time. In total, the group includes seven scientists and five representatives of technical staff, who also underwent a rigid competition and medical examinations.

The researchers will fly from Kyiv to Punta Arenas, Chile; they should arrive at the station on March 27.

Reference: The station was established by the British researchers as Station F or “Argentine Islands” in 1947. Ukraine took over the base in February 1996 – the UK sold it for a symbolic 1 pound. The National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine continues a program of meteorology, upper atmospheric physics, geomagnetism, ecology, biology and other research.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Wikipedia