The expedition in numbers
Facts and figures about the largest Arctic research expedition in history:
The expedition‘s planned duration is about 390 days.
During the expedition, RV Polarstern will be resupplied by 4 additional icebreakers from China, Russia, and Sweden.
The ice will drift at an average speed of roughly 7 km per day.
The following 19 nations will take part in the expedition:
See 19 nations
Thoughout the year, a total of 600 experts will be on board, and be exchanged in phases.
Around 300 people will work in the background to make the expedition possible.
For 60-90 days, RV Polarstern will be as close as 200 km to the geographic North Pole - or even closer.
RV Polarstern will cover a total of some 2,500 km.
The Polar night, during which the sun never rises above the horizon, will continue for 150 days.
At least 6 people will be assigned as "polar bear watch" to ensure the researcher's safety.
The landing strip for resupply flights, which will be carved out of the sea ice, must be at least 1100 m long.
The drift will take Polarstern more than 1000 km away from the next land.
In winter, temperatures down to -45 degree Celsius are expected.
To date, there has never been a comparable expedition in the central Arctic.
The expedition's operating costs alone are roughly 200000 Euro per day (not including the costs for the instruments or researchers).
The monitoring stations will be set up as far as 50 km from Polarsten.
The sea ice must be at least 1.5 m thick, so that the necessary infrastructure can be set up on its surface.
Measurements will be taken at altitudes up to 35000 m and at depths down to 4000 m below the surface.