Long road to Antarctica: 28 UAE went to Vernadsky station

Long road to Antarctica: 28 UAE went to Vernadsky station

Members of the new, 28th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition went to Akademik Vernadsky station. Their long journey to Antarctica began today, March 18, 2023, from Kyiv.

“Even in the conditions of a large-scale war, we must ensure the continuous operation of our Antarctic station, because the results of the activities of Ukrainian scientists on the icy continent are important for the whole world. This is a series of the longest meteorological observations in Antarctica, the study of climate change, space weather, the Earth’s magnetic field, the ozone hole and much more. There, we are doing global science of the 21st century and we are not stopping despite the enemy’s attempts to throw us back into the 20th century,” said the director of the National Antarctic Scientific Center Evgen Dykyi.

There are 14 participants in the 28th UAE: 9 scientists (3 for each area of research – biology, meteorology, geophysics), a doctor, a cook, a system administrator, a system mechanic and a diesel electrician. They will work at the station throughout the year.

The Expedition Leader is geophysicist Bohdan Gavrylyuk. He is going to spend his tenth winter in Antarctica, and this is an absolute record for Ukrainian Antarctic expeditions. In his previous one, the 26th UAE, Bogdan was also a base commander, and upon his return in the spring of 2022, he immediately stood up for the protection of Ukraine in the ranks of the Border Service.

For the first time in the past five years, the expedition consists only of men. Unfortunately, only 5 women had applied for this competition (last year – 19), but they did not overcome all stages of the competitive selection.

Before leaving, the team took a traditional photo at the monument to Mykhailo Hrushevsky. The picture turned out to be very symbolic, because in the conditions of war the monument is protected from possible destruction.

“We sincerely hope that this will be the only such photo of all our expeditions. And the 29th UAE will already take a photo near the open unharmed Hrushevsky in a peaceful Ukraine free from occupiers,” emphasized Evgen Dykyi.

The members of the expedition have a long and busy journey ahead of them. Now they are going to Poland, then they will fly to South America, where our RV Noosfera is waiting for future winterers in the Chilean port of Punta Arenas. The icebreaker should deliver the 28th UAE to the station and return to the mainland the 27th UAE, which has already been worked in Antarctica for a year.

We wish our polar explorers a safe journey, easy take-offs and soft landings, and a calm Drake. And we are looking forward to the return of the 27th expedition team to our invincible Ukraine.

Photo by Alex Zakletsky.