The North Pole ice-resistant platform at Murmansk seaport
© Photo courtesy of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute

North Pole ice-resistant platform arrives at North Pole 41 expedition’s starting point

The North Pole ice-resistant platform arrived at Murmansk seaport from where the North Pole 41 expedition will set sail. The ship will head for the Central Arctic region, and the 41st drifting polar station will start operating in early October.

“The platform successfully traveled the first leg from St. Petersburg to Murmansk and performed well. Doubtless, it has a great future ahead. The North Pole ice-resistant platform will soon sail for the high latitudes, and it will achieve impressive results. The program of drifting polar stations ended ten years ago due to melting Arctic sea-formations, caused by global warming. We are now resuming these expeditions. Scientists have received a unique tool making it possible to resume regular research projects in Arctic latitudes and to elevate them to an entirely new level,” said Alexander Makarov, Director of the Shirshov Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.  

The self-propelled North Pole platform can sail to any preset area, stick to an ice floe and help deploy a research base. It can act as a real floating scientific research center. Scientists now can use 15 laboratories for conducting the entire range of Arctic research, including sea-ice studies and space observations.

The ship has a custom-built hull with a unique shape that redistributes ice pressure accordingly and squeezes the platform onto an ice floe. The hull accommodates as much equipment and supplies as possible, for a two-year expedition. Specialists conducted numerous tests at an ice-filled test tank at the Shirshov Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute while developing the hull.