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MURMANSK, August 10. /TASS/. Russia’s North Pole-2015 drifting Arctic station has ended its mission and begins evacuation, with its official flag being downed after the landing of a helicopter evacuation team, a spokesman for the Russian ministry of natural resources told TASS on Monday.
"The Captain Dranitsyn ice-breaker with the evacuation team reached the ice floe with the station this morning. It will take on board the station’s equipment and the polar expedition," the spokesman said.
The ice-breaker left the port of Murmansk on August 5 to have covered the distance to the ice floe housing the station at latitude N 86° in a span of six days. Along with the 17 members of the polar expedition, the Captain Dranitsyn will take the expedition’s waste. The expedition is expected in Murmansk by mid-August.
Earlier, Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy told TASS that first results of the North Pole-2015 expedition would be announced in early autumn. Thanks to the favourable weather conditions, the drifting station’s service life was twice as long as originally planned. A key scientific task for the North Pole-2015 explorers was to register all signs of changes in the Arctic induced by the global climate change. They carried out a programme of polar ice, ocean and atmosphere studies, weather and the Earth’s magnetic field observation.
The station was launched on April 11 some seven kilometers off the North Pole. Since May, it has been drifting independently.
The world’s first drifting Arctic station North Pole-1 was officially launched on June 6, 1937 some 20 kilometers off the North Pole. It was led by world-acclaimed Soviet polar explorer Ivan Papanin.