L’Astrolabe Delivers Supplies in Antarctica

On November 11, L’Astrolabe set sail from the port of Hobart, Tasmania, to supply the Dumont d’Urville polar station in Antarctica. Charles Giusti, Prefect of French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF) and Jérôme Chappellaz, Director of the French Polar Institute, were on board during the deployment of the polar patrol boat. The crossing of pack 1 took place in 24 hours between November 16 and 17, which is a record for the start of the season.

The building delivered, 4 days in advance, to the logistics activities of the French Polar Institute in Antarctica, 260 m3 of Special antarctic blend (SAB, a diesel that does not freeze at low temperature), 2 helicopters, 160 t various materials, including a snow plow and food. On the way back, the building brought back ice cores in order to analyze the evolution of the climate.

The meteorological conditions encountered on the return transit (80 knots of wind (»150 km / h), 35 degrees of roll) were trying and testify to the ability of the French armies to navigate in extreme areas. This icebreaker building was built as part of a partnership between, on the one hand, the TAAF community and the French Polar Institute Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV) and, on the other hand, the French Navy. The Astrolabe is permanently armed by French Navy crews, but its activity is divided between military missions and missions for the benefit of the French Polar Institute IPEV and the TAAF.

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