Russian icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn took five weeks, to cross the Barents Sea and reach Polarstern. December 2019 of the year
The international scientific community needed 11 years and 150 million euros, to prepare the German research icebreaker Polarstern for the trip to the Arctic. However, without the help of Russian courts, this mission would be doomed to failure..
No refueling guarantees
This is the MOSAIC program, the idea of which was born in 2009 year in the bowels of American and German research centers. As a result, a consortium of more than 20 nations, interested in studying climate change in the Arctic.
The German icebreaker Polarstern was chosen to carry out the mission., commissioned in 1982 year. It is able to pass through ice sheets thick 1,5 meters at a speed of 5 knots. The ship can accommodate 44 crew member and 55 scientists. It is equipped 9 laboratories. Since 1999 by 2001 year the icebreaker was repaired and equipped with the latest technology.
Polarstern started a hike 20 September 2019 of the year, crossed the Siberian section of the Arctic Ocean and "stood on the ice" after 3 weeks of progress, "Jumping" at full speed onto the plate, which seemed stable and solid. Wintering began.
They had no guarantees for refueling [fuel]
– remembered at the Alfred Wegener Institute.
During the drift, lasting from October to June, fuel consumption was 6-8 tons per day (instead of the usual 45-50 t in the sea), maximum values reached 11 tons per day. At the same time, it constantly had to be heated in tanks..
The temperature drops sharply in mid-November, the sun finally disappears beyond the horizon. The Russian icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn comes to the rescue of polar explorers, who fills a German ship twice, food, equipment and delivers workers. In the beginning of March 2020 years, Covid becomes a global problem. With the suspension of international traffic, the project is in jeopardy.
Airports were closed [a runway was built on the slab], and transportation on ships is prohibited. We fought to keep the mission alive. Russian ships continued to help us, they were prompt and loyal colleagues
– Captain Polarstern appreciated the assistance of the Russian Federation in the Arctic.
As a result, the expedition was successfully completed and at the end of September the team returned home. As the captain of the ship noted, who visited Artik 10 years ago, this time the ice floe was segmented on all sides by open water fairways. The drift was very fast: in winter, during storms, they did until 7 km per day [together with the stove]. Compared to the last hike, "It was unusual".
used photos:MOSAIC website