BRITISH SERVICES ANTARCTICA EXPEDITION 2012
January 2012 will see the 100th Anniversary of Scott's heroic efforts to reach the South Pole. Having attained the South Pole through a combination of incredible fortitude and immense physical effort, Scott and his party of four (Dr Edward Wilson, Lt Henry Bowers R.I.M, Capt Lawrence Oates Inniskilling Dragoons and Petty Officer Edgar Evans Royal Navy) were to find that they had reached their destination behind a Norwegian party led by Roald Amundsen. Undeterred they remained committed to their science projects and during their return journey of some 810miles they collected rock samples which were to confirm that the Southern continents were once been joined as a super continent, thereby confirming the theory of Plate-Tectonics. Furthermore, these specimens also provided evidence for climate change. Undertaking this scientific exploration came at a price though as the 35lbs of rock samples had to be man hauled across the frozen wastes of the Antarctic. Exceptionally bad weather hindered their progress and ultimately led to the team's tragic demise just 11 miles from safety. When Scott and the remaining members of his team were found frozen in their tent, the rock-samples which they had collected were found at the camp. Despite the hardships they had endured, and in the face of certain death, they had refused to abandon their scientific collections such was Scott's dedication to his science and the advancement of human exploration and knowledge. Scott and his team had already conducted very significant research and scientific exploration prior to departing for the Pole. Surveying this research shortly before leaving for the Pole and recognizing by then that Amundsen was likely to beat him there, Scott wrote, It is really a satisfactory state of affairs all around. If the [polar] journey comes off, nothing, not even priority at the Pole, can prevent the Expedition ranking as one of the most important that ever entered the Polar regions. History and science made it so.
It is this incredible story of Captain Scott and his team that has inspired so many to take up exploration and investigate in science, the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 (BSAE2012) is no different as they see this story as their basis for inspiration. The British Armed Services are aiming to mount an expedition to Antarctica in 2012 to commemorate Scott's outstanding contribution to the nation and to science. Unlike other expeditions seeking to follow in Scott's footsteps in 2012, the BSAE will travel in the Spirit of Scott, but not in his tracks. Instead, and very much in the ethos of Scott's 1910-1913 expedition.
This expedition will be the first Joint expedition mounted to the mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula by the British Armed Services. It will follow three Joint Service expeditions to explore "Islands" (Elephant, Brabant and Smith) and three recent British Army expeditions. The expedition aims to maintain the long tradition of the Armed Services involvement in exploration and in particular, that of Polar science exploration, the essence of which is captured so well by Tennyson in his poem Ulysses;
"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
The team will be able to update their progress in real time and you can see their locations on the map below.
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The team are very grateful to ArcGIS.com for providing the expedition with a facility to map the progress of the team when they are deployed to Antarctica.