Two months to the day after his departure from Brest, FS Astrolabe left his port on the 12th of October 2017 at Port des Galets, in La Réunion, for his first mission in Antarctica .
The building will join the city of Hobart in Australia at the end of October, from which it will carry out four to five logistical rotations during the austral summer for the benefit of the French Polar Institute Paul Emile Victor (IPEV) to supply the scientific base Dumont d’Urville in Earth Adelie .
Measuring 72 meters long by 16 meters wide, Astrolabe can carry 60 people, 1200 tonnes of cargo and two helicopters. Icebreaker 5 th category, it is able to navigate in an ice thickness of one meter. The ship is the result of an unprecedented partnership between the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF), the French Polar Institute (IPEV) and the French Navy. Two crews will thus relay throughout the year to carry out the missions that will be entrusted to him. It was also the crew A who ensured the first rotations until the replacement of the crew B in Hobart in January.
The Astrolabe will return to its home port in La Réunion at the end of March and will be able to devote itself to missions of sovereignty in the South Indian Ocean, particularly in the exclusive economic zones of the French Southern Territories.