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Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics

Special Announcements
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National Science Foundation Realignment Plans


Posted: 7 September 2012

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USAP Blue Ribbon Panel report

During a press conference at the National Academy of Sciences on 23 July 2012, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation announced the publication of a new study of future options for logistical support of the U.S. Antarctic Program. 

The report, More and Better Science in Antarctica through Increased Logistical Effectiveness, is now available on the NSF web site.

Posted: 23 July 2012

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icebreaker Vladimir Ignatyuk

U.S. Antarctic Program Grantee Alert

NSF Charters Icebreaker to Support U.S. Research Stations in Antarctica (NSF Press Release, 12-121)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced on 3 July 2012 that it will exercise an option for chartering the diesel icebreaker Vladimir Ignatyuk from Russia's Murmansk Shipping Company. The Ignatyuk will again create a channel through the sea ice of Antarctica's McMurdo Sound needed to resupply and refuel U.S. research stations during the upcoming 2012 to 2013 season.

For more information, read the NSF press release.

Posted: 5 July 2012

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U.S. Antarctic Program logo

NSF Awards Logistical Support Contract for U.S. Antarctic Program to Lockheed Martin Corporation

Posted: 12 April 2012

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C-17 lands at Pegasus Glacial Runway near McMurdo Station

Boomerangs and bad weather

Storms delay first planes to McMurdo Station before flights get on schedule

Late August storms around McMurdo Station delayed the first U.S. Antarctic Program flights to Antarctica since March, but the last of six planned flights finally took place on Aug. 31 (local time), officially ending the winter fly-in period called Winfly, when new personnel arrive to ready the research station for the upcoming field season that begins in October.

For more information, read the Antarctic Sun story at

Posted: 12 April 2012

divider line web site banner United States Antarctic Program Web Portal — Visit the USAP portal for information on U.S. program activities.
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The U.S. Antarctic Program, Division of Antarcitc Infrastructure and Logistics, operates three year-round stationsMcMurdo, Amundsen-Scott South Pole, and Palmer stations. Camps operate only in summer to support field research. Six automated geophysical observatories and more than 100 automated weather stations operate year-round. The weather stations involve international collaboration with the Italian, German, Australian, and British programs.

McMurdo Station

McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica, is the largest station in Antarctica and the logistics hub for the U.S. Antarctic Program. (NSF/USAP photo by Michael Hoffman, Raytheon Polar Services)

Visit the McMurdo Station webcam.

Read recent reports from McMurdo Station, published in the Antarctic Sun.

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, aeiral view

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, geographic South Pole, Antarctica, February 2011. (NSF/USAP photo by Robert Schwartz, USAP)

NSF Special Report — U.S. South Pole Station: Supporting Science

Visit the South Pole webcam.

Read recent reports from South Pole Station, published in the Antarctic Sun.

Palmer Station, Anvers Island, Antarctic Peninsula Region, Antarctica

Palmer Station, Anvers Island, Antarctic Peninsula Region, Antarctica. (NSF/USAP photo by Jeffrey Kietzmann, Raytheon Polar Services)

Visit the Palmer Station webcam.

Read recent reports from Palmer Station, published in the Antarctic Sun.

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Ski-equipped hercules airplanes

Twin Otter airplane at British station

Ski-equipped Hercules airplanes (LC-130) transport fuel, equipment, supplies, and personnel from McMurdo Station to inland sites, including Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, and from New Zealand. During the austral summer, wheeled military transports (C-17s and C-130s) also bring equipment, personnel, and supplies to Antarctica from New Zealand.

Ski-equipped Twin Otters and Basler aircraft also provide support to field teams during the austral summer.


Helicopters provide support to field parties in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in southern Victoria Land and at remote field camps. Here a helicopter lands near the Beardmore Camp in the Transantarctic Mountains. (NSF/USAP photo by Kristan Hutchison, Raytheon Polar Services)

U.S. Antarctic Program ships

The U.S. Antarctic Program operates two icebreaking research ships, Laurence M. Gould and Nathaniel B. Palmer between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula, in the Antarctic Peninsula region, and in the Ross Sea near McMurdo Station. Icebreakers annually open a channel to McMurdo Station to enable a supply ship and a tanker to reach the station.

Helicopter lands at Beardmore Camp

Small and large field camps support science parties in remote areas of Antarctica. The photograph shows a large camp—Beardmore Camp—which supported eight geology and paleontology projects during the 2003-2004 austral summer season. (NSF/USAP photo by Kristan Hutchison, Raytheon Polar Services)

Automated geophysical observatory, number 6 Automated Geophysical Observatories supported by the U.S. Antarctic Program.

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