India’s launches its first South Pole expedition

November 1st, 2010 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) India Monday launched its first expedition to the South Pole to study the changes in climate patterns that have taken place in the Antarctica over the last thousand years.

Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chavan flagged off the expedition Monday.

The team will leave for Maitri — India’s second permanent research station in Antarctica — Nov 1 and will be back mid-December.

Rasik Ravindra, 62, director of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, will lead the team of eight scientists on the 40-day expedition.

“This is for the first time that India is sending an expedition to the South Pole. The scientists will bring samples that will give us information about climate change which have taken place in the last thousand years,” said an official.

The team comprises scientists who have experience of wintering over in Antarctica and knowhow of snow vehicles. The team will conduct various scientific experiments on its way to the South Pole.

“They will study variability of snow chemistry, bed rock topography and ice structure. They will collect meteorological parameter along the 2,000-km-long traverse,” the official added.

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