The Ukrainian scientific research vessel, Noosfera, has concluded its third Antarctic season.

The Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Center announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

The Noosfera docked in the Port of Cape Town (South Africa) late on 8 May 2024.

“This was the Noosfera's longest Antarctic season and the season with the most extensive scientific research program. It began on 17 November 2023, when the ship embarked on a voyage on the route Cape Town - King George Island (home of the Polish Arctowski Antarctic Station) - Galindez Island (home of the Vernadsky Research Base, the Ukrainian Antarctic station),” the statement said.

The Noosfera transported cargo and expedition members, including technical experts tasked with modernizing the Vernadsky Research Base. Subsequently, the vessel stopped at the Port of Punta Arenas (Chile).

On 15 March 2024, the Noosfera embarked on another voyage to Antarctica, carrying members of the 29th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition, wintering cargo, and scientists from Ukraine and other countries.

Significant research was conducted during the journey to the Vernadsky Research Base, near the research base, and during the return voyage.

The Noosfera returned to Chile on 13 April, bringing members of the 28th Ukrainian Antarctic expedition and a seasonal expedition there. During this voyage, the icebreaker encountered adverse weather conditions, including a severe storm in the Drake Passage with waves up to 10 meters high and wind speeds up to 35 meters per second.

The ship again set sail for Antarctica (King George Island), transporting polar researchers to the Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station before returning to Cape Town on 8 May.

Like previous expeditions, the Noosfera’s latest expedition was a joint Ukrainian-Polish expedition, partially funded by the Polish Antarctic Program.

The icebreaker will remain stationed in the port of Cape Town until the commencement of the next Antarctic season. Its return to Ukraine is expected upon the conclusion of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.