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National Research Program in Antarctica

Antarctica, the Italian Defence takes part in the XXIX research expedition

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The Italian base “Mario Zucchelli”, situated in Baia Terra Nova, will be opened again for the XXXI Antarctic Summer Campaign, which is included in the National Research Program in Antarctica (PNRA). A contingent of Italian soldiers will participate in the project, opening the season 2015/2016. An expedition lasting four months, with the participation of 24 units coming from the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and from the Carabinieri army corps, each one within the specific competences of the Armed Forces of belonging. The military will be joined to the initial core of 12 technicians ENEA managing the mission.

The Italian base “Mario Zucchelli”, situated in Baia Terra Nova, will be opened again for the XXXI Antarctic Summer Campaign, which is included in the National Research Program in Antarctica (PNRA). A contingent of Italian soldiers will participate in the project, opening the season 2015/2016.

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An expedition lasting four months, with the participation of 24 units coming from the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and from the Carabinieri army corps, each one within the specific competences of the Armed Forces of belonging. The military will be joined to the initial core of 12 technicians ENEA managing the mission.

In the coming weeks, 200 other units including technicians and researchers will join the group. The Italian armed forces will contribute to many activities, from the weather to carry on safety of aircraft operations, high altitude operations with the Alpine guides, naval operations aimed at supplying the Concordia base for the winter campaign, to the so-called “extraordinary jobs” in a location characterized by snow and winds that can reach the speed of 300 Km/h.

Coordinated by the National Research Council and funded by the Ministry of Education in accordance with the strategic guidelines of the National Scientific Committee for Antarctica (CSNA), the activity of the PNRA ranges between biodiversity, evolution and adaptation of Antarctic organisms, earth sciences, glaciology, environmental contamination, atmosphere and space science, weather monitoring at the permanent Observers-climate, astronomy and geophysics.

Soldiers and research staff will face the Antarctic summer in particularly and complex conditions: temperatures between 0°C and -35°C, and 24 hours of light every day. The XXXI Summer campaign will end on 12 February 2016, with the return of the motorship “Italica”, which will support the operations and the closure of the “Mario Zucchelli” base.
Viviana Passalacqua

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Viviana Passalacqua
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