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YEKATERINBURG, January 15. /TASS/. Members of the first Russian meteorite expedition have returned home with two samples of meteorite substance from their Antarctic mission, the press office of the Urals Federal University said on Friday.
"The team has already landed at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport and tomorrow the expedition participants will already arrive in Yekaterinburg. The meteorite fragments that have been discovered will be studied at laboratories of the Urals Federal University. The other samples will be delivered from the Antarctic station of Novolazarevskaya only in April," the press office said.
Russian scientists stayed in the Antarctic from December 20 to January 10, carrying out studies on the territory of Queen Maud Land located 100 km (62 miles) from the Russian station of Novolazarevskaya.
Overall, the Russian scientists have managed to collect over 300 rock samples for further research while two of them have already been identified as meteorites. Their study will help scientists to get new information on the origin of the Universe and the future of the planet.
The Antarctic meteorite expedition from the Urals Federal University is the first scientific undertaking in contemporary Russia for meteoritic substance search on the southernmost continent, which has become a reality thanks to the university’s participation in the Project 5-100.
The expedition’s budget is estimated at 8-12 million rubles ($114,000 - $171,000). The larger part of funds on scientific developments has been provided by the Urals Federal University.
The meteorite expedition set off from Yekaterinburg on December 14, reaching Cape Town in two days’ time and staying in South Africa for another three days. After that, it flew to the Antarctic.