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ST. PETERSBURG, May 22 (Itar-Tass) — The crew of the North Pole 40 drifting research station is being formed in St. Petersburg. The mission will begin this year.
“Symbolically, North Pole 40 will start its mission in the year remarkable for Soviet and Russian science,” Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Director Ivan Frolov told Itar-Tass. “Head of the world’s first research station Ivan Papanin, geophysicist Yegeny Fyodorov, radio operator Ernst Krenkel and hydrologist Pyotr Shirshov landed on an ice block from an aircraft 75 years ago, in 1937. They hoisted the Soviet flag and transmitted their first weather report on June 6,” he said.
The jubilee is celebrated broadly. A Russian research conference will take place on May 25. The Arctic and Antarctic Museum will present an exhibition dedicated to North Pole stations.
The State Duma has adopted a statement to mark the anniversary. “The world’s first drifting research station, North Pole 1 of the Soviet Union, marks the 75th anniversary on May 21, 2012,” Chairman of the State Dumas Committee on Science and High Technologies Valery Chereshnev said.
The importance of the Arctic is growing, which adds significance to the work of Russian polar explorers, he said. “Times are changing. Many are interested in the Arctic. So, we, deputies of the State Duma declare the large international significance of the Arctic research, which started in the 1930s. We express our profound respect for everyone who works in the Arctic, does the research, develops mineral resources and protects the interests of Russia thus developing the wonderful tradition of Soviet polar explorers,” he said.
The idea to launch the first Soviet drifting research station was proposed by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in 1929.
The all-year-round monitoring of the Arctic Ocean started in 1950, when the North Pole 2 expedition of Mikhail Somov began. Since that time the former Soviet Union had two or even three permanent drifting research stations in the Arctic Ocean until July 1991, when the North Pole 31 project was accomplished. The North Pole 32 station was launched in 2001 after a long pause in the Arctic research and promoted keen interest in the Arctic Ocean. Russia resumed systemic studies of nature in the most difficult of access area of the polar zone. The missions have been regular since then. The North Pole 39 is on mission at present.