The 25th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition (UAE) team has completed a two-week observation in Chile and on April 14, 2020 at 05:45 (Kyiv time) has departed from the Chilean port of Punta Arenas to Antarctica.
Within a few days six wagons with food, fuel and equipment were loaded onto the Betanzos vessel, which will deliver the polar explorers to Akademik Vernadsky station. Thorough disinfection of the vessel and the cargo was also carried out, since Antarctica is still the only continent free of COVID-19.
It is expected that by the end of the week the team will get to the Ukrainian Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station through the stormy Drake Passage. Next, about 5 days are planned for unloading and as many days for the return to the mainland of participants of the previous 24th expedition.
“Thanks to the efforts of Ukrainian diplomats, we have an agreement that the Chilean government will allow our expedition, which has been operating in Antarctica for over a year, to enter its country. From Chile, the 24th UAE will then be forwarded to Ukraine. The ways of this flight are still being negotiated and depend on how the quarantine situation will develop in Ukraine and other countries on the way home” – said the Director of the National Antarctic Scientific Center of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine Evgen Dykyi.