The unprecedented autonomous automobile expedition "Antarctic. 200 Years of Discoveries" began. Seven people participate in the “motor run” in Antarctic: drivers-mechanics - Vasily Elagin, Alexey Makarov, Vladimir Obihod and the film crew - Valdis Pelsh, Christina Kozlova, Alexander Kubasov and Denis Negrivetsky. The project is possible thanks to the RGS grant. Experienced travelers plan to cover a 7,000 kilometres distance in six weeks. Off-road vehicles "Emelya" invented by Vasily Elagin. There is no place to refuel or replenish supplies in Antarctic, so participants took everything they need with them. Now the expedition members are at the "Novolazarevskaya" polar station, checking outfit and equipment. 4000 liters of fuel are charged into cars.
“Three Russian stations are waiting for us: "Novolazarevskaya", "Vostok" and "Progress" and three poles. Most of all we are agitated of the first 500 kilometers, because the cars are completed in full, and we need to climb the ice shell of Antarctic. This is more than 2 thousands of meters. And there may be ice cracks, but we are prepared for this,"- said Valdis Pelsh.
Greeting for the participants of the project was sent by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. The head of state underlined that the expedition has a serious practical significance for the further reclaiming of the Antarctic continent. He hopes that the project will help to consolidate the Russian presence in this strategically important region.
"Your expedition is a significant contribution to preserving the memory of the pioneering heroes who fearlessly built land, sea and air routes in the Arctic and Antarctic, with their courage and dedication they brought our country the glory of a great polar power", said the head of state.
Antarctic is a continent in the extreme south of our planet. It is washed by the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. The area is more than 14.4 million km², of which 1.6 million km² are ice shelves. In addition to the cold pole - the temperature at "Vostok" station dropped to almost -90 – in Antarctic there are points of the lowest atmosphere relative humidity, the strongest and most prolonged wind and the most intense solar radiation.
Antarctic is a neutral territory. On the mainland there are polar stations of Argentina, Russia, the USA and other countries. The territory of Antarctica can only be used for peaceful purposes.
It should be noted that the expedition coincide with the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctic by Russian navigators Faddey Bellinsgauzen and Mikhail Lazarev. The anniversary date will be celebrated in 2020 - by this time the film "Antarctic. 200 Years of Discoveries" should be released.
The military sloops "Vostok" and "Mirny" set off for the first Antarctic expedition from Kronshtadt in 1819. The main task of the campaign is to prove the existence of the sixth continent. The captain of the "Vostok" Faddey Bellinsgauzen led the expedition. "Mirny" was commanded by Mikhail Lazarev. January 27, 1820 ships crossed the Antarctic Circle. During the voyage, "Vostok" and "Mirny" circled around the entire Antarctic continent, discovered and marked on the map many new islands and lands, and collected a unique ethnographic collection.