India launches its first South Pole expedition Monday

Sunday, October 31, 2010

NEW DELHI - India will Monday send its first expedition to the South Pole to study the changes in climate patterns that have taken place in Antarctica over the last thousand of years.

Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chavan will flag off the expedition Monday.

Rasik Ravindra, 62, director of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, will lead the team of eight scientists on the 40-day expedition.

The team will leave for Maitri — India’s second permanent research station in Antarctica — Nov 1 and will be back mid-December.

“This is for the first time that India is sending an expedition to the South Pole. The scientists will bring samples that will give us information about climate change which has taken place in the last thousand years,” said an official.

The team comprises scientists who have experience of wintering over in Antarctica and knowhow of snow vehicles. The team will conduct various scientific experiments on its way to South Pole.

“They will study variability of snow chemistry, bed rock topography and ice structure. They will collect meteorological parameter along the 2000-km-long traverse,” the official added.

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