President Volodymyr Zelensky inspected the state-funded research icebreaker, which will allow our scientists to return to the study of the World Ocean and significantly improve the logistics of the Ukrainian Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station. The visit took place on October 29, 2021.
The icebreaker was previously used by the British Antarctic Survey and was called RRS James Clark Ross. On August 19 this year, the legendary ship was purchased by Ukraine, and on October 5 it arrived in Odessa.
Today, the flagship of the Ukrainian research fleet has received a new name Noosphere. The name is symbolic, because the term itself comes from the works of Volodymyr Vernadsky, after whom our station is named. Now the names of the icebreaker and the station logically supplement each other. The noosphere means the sphere of interaction between society and nature.
On board the icebreaker, Volodymyr Zelensky examined the laboratory, the wardroom, the captain’s bridge and living quarters.
Evgen Dykyi demonstrated to the head of state samples of equipment for oceanographic research. We recall that the icebreaker is equipped with eight specialized laboratories and devices for sampling from a depth of up to 8 km. From now on, Ukrainian researchers will have access to almost 90% of the bottom of the World Ocean.
On February 6 this year, during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Akademik Vernadsky station, Ukrainian polar explorers, while in Antarctica, complained to the President about the absence of their own scientific icebreaker. Today, Volodymyr Zelensky has personally by videoconference informed the researchers of the 26th UAE, who are currently working at the station, that Noosphere will leave to the station very soon.
The head of state also said that a large-scale program will be developed to revive the research fleet of Ukraine.
“The start of this shipping-related program was presented today. Many steps and many desires.
The main thing is that we move from words to concrete action,” – the President noted.
The head of the 26th UAE, Bogdan Gavrylyuk, noted that the acquisition of the icebreaker is an important event for the revival of the Ukrainian scientific fleet.
“20 years ago I went to Antarctica on the Ukrainian ship “Gorizont”, and returned back on a foreign ship. This year, as it turned out, I went to Antarctica under a foreign flag, and will return home again on a Ukrainian ship, on the “Noosphere”, – he said.
Volodymyr Zelensky has also talked to polar explorers – members of the 25th UAE. The head of the expedition, Yurii Otruba, appealed to the President with a request to assist with the continuation of the Special-Purpose Research Program in Antarctica until 2030.
“A few years ago, funding of the Antarctic Center increased significantly. If we keep it at this level, we will be able to achieve a lot in terms of scientific achievements and modernization of the station, ” – stressed Yurii Otruba.
In memory of this meeting, the team of the 25th UAE presented Volodymyr Zelensky a photo of the icebreaker, made by the British Antarctic Survey in Antarctica, leaving their signatures on the photo.
In the near future, the icebreaker will undergo the necessary clearance and maintenance procedures, after which its first voyage to the Akademik Vernadsky station with a new name and under the Ukrainian flag is planned.