Today, November 17, 2023, the flagship of the Ukrainian research fleet – the ice-class research vessel Noosfera – left Cape Town (South Africa) for Antarctica. This is already her third Antarctic season under the blue and yellow flag. The captain of the vessel is Oleksandr Gryshko.
Like last year, the current Noosfera expedition is a joint Ukrainian-Polish expedition and is partly financed by the Polish Antarctic Program. So, first the vessel will go to Arctowski Polish Antarctic station, which is located on King George Island. A team of polar explorers and cargo will be delivered there.
Then the vessel will go to Ukrainian Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station. Cargo will also be delivered there, as well as a seasonal expedition. Most of its participants are technical specialists who have to complete the modernization of the station, which has begun before the full-scale war. This season, there are plans to replace the hot and cold water supply system, reconstruct the berth, complete grounding of all station buildings, and a number of other urgent works.
Also, among the participants of the seasonal expedition there are three scientists: a biologist, a meteorologist and a geophysicist. We will tell you in detail about their work programs additionally.
The Noosfera has a long journey ahead across the Atlantic and Southern Oceans. The vessel is expected to reach Antarctica in the first ten days of December this year.
It should be noted that before the new Antarctic season, a lot of work on maintenance and improvement of the ice-class vessel was carried out.
In particular, planned repair and maintenance of vessel’s mechanisms and systems in dry dock, major repairs of vessel’s power plants, as well as modification of the cooling system of vessel’s power plants were carried out.
In addition, a Ukrainian-made cavitation fuel module was installed. It is used to improve the quality of cleaning and reduce fuel consumption and extend the service life of engines.
Additionally, the ship was equipped with new navigation and other equipment. For example, super-powerful spotlights, which will significantly improve its adaptability to work in a difficult ice conditions.
We remind you that from January 2022 to April 2023, the Noosfera has already successfully completed two Antarctic seasons. You can read more about this here.