North Pole-2015 researchers return to the mainland
The icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn arrived in Murmansk on August 16 with personnel and equipment from the North Pole-2015 drifting polar research station after completing its mission.
The North Pole-2015 seasonal drifting ice station officially closed on August 9. Research and other equipment were removed from the station on August 10-11.
The research team was met at the port by Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi; Artur Chilingarov, Presidential Envoy for International Cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic and President of the Association of Polar Explorers; and Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun.
"The cleaning operations went as planned without any delays. In 36 hours, the station was completely dismantled and loaded onto the Kapitan Dranitsyn." The coordinated efforts of the polar researchers, the icebreaker's crew, the Emergencies Ministry's helicopter team as well as the assistance of journalists allowed removing the station completely and clearing the ice float from any trace of human activity," Alexander Orlov, the head of the expedition to the station and director of the Expedition Center of the Russian Geographical Society, reported at a ceremonial meeting for Arctic explorers. As earlier announced, during the final operations, the ice sheet was left in appropriate environmental conditions.
"Everyone on the drift, including the two expedition dogs, are in good health and ready for their next assignment," Mr Orlov concluded.
Artur Chilingarov noted that during the project, the polar researchers demonstrated courage and professionalism as they carried out research under Arctic conditions. "These people demonstrated courage, bravery and heroism," he said.
Sergei Donskoi announced that the scheduled research was completed in full and that the results would be published this fall.
The environment minister also had a conversation with the North Pole-2015 team. Head of the station Dmitry Mamadaliyev thanked the minister for the opportunity to work at the North Pole and asked if a similar station would operate next year.
"Of course, we support the annual operation of drifting stations," Mr Donskoi said and noted that the ministry plans to allocate funds for next year's drifting ice station.
The North Pole-2015 seasonal drifting ice station was officially launched on April 18, 2015. The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is the government administrator and coordinator of the State Programme Environmental Protection that includes the project for the development and operation of the North Pole-2015 seasonal drifting ice station.