MOSCOW, November 6. /TASS/. For the first time in recent 30 years a Russian research vessel — The Admiral Vladimirsky — has left from north-western Krnostadt to the Antarctica, spokesman of the Defense Ministry on the Navy Igor Dygalo said on Friday.
"Today, on November 6, 2015, the Navy’s research vessel The Admiral Vladimirsky has left Kronstadt for the Antarctica," he said. "During the expedition of 2015-2016, the vessel will cover the route of over 30,000 sea miles to return to Kronstadt in April of 2016."
Chief Commander of the Russian Navy Viktor Chirkov said during the expedition the experts will study sea areas and hydro-meteorological factors, will register changes of the sea bed to make corrections to navigation and international sea maps.
"They will take land, metrical and magnet shooting, meteorology, aerology, hydrology, hydro-chemical, hydro-optic and other surveys in sea areas neighbouring the Antarctica," the chief commander said.
During the expedition, The Admiral Vladimirsky will cross the Atlantic, the Gibraltar and Suez Canal. Further on, crossing the southernmost latitude, it will reach the Indian Ocean along the Seychelles and Madagascar, will bypass the southern part of Africa and will approach the Antarctica.
The expedition will stop at ports of Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Mozambique, the South African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Portugal, and will visit Madagascar.
Deputy Head of the Defense Ministry’s Department of Navigation and Oceanography Oleg Osipov told TASS "the expedition will last for over five months, and its key scientific objective is to verify sear maps of three seas of the South Ocean — the Sea of Cosmonauts, the Sea of Lazarev and Commonwealth Sea, where Russia is responsible for hydrography."
The Antarctic waters are divided into zones of responsibility of various countries, which are authorised by the international community to make hydrographic research there for navigation security reasons. Russia worked in its sector — the Sea of Cosmonauts, the Sea of Lazarev and Commonwealth Sea — to the 1980s.
"At that time the proximity was 150-300 meters, while now the new technologies make it 10-30 meters," he said adding the verified maps would be by ten times more exact than the old ones. The work on the maps is due between January 9 and March 6, 2016.
The expedition has four groups — hydrographic, hydrologic, hydro-meteorological and a radio navigation. The latter will study how radio waves are crossing the Antarctica. The expedition will feature 692 people, including crews of vessels and aircraft. The program unites 56 scientific projects from the near-Earth space to processes within the Earth.