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Antarctic Expedition To Renew Search for Shackleton’s Ship Endurance

Endurance22 will launch early next year with aim of locating and surveying wreck in the Weddell Sea. From a report: The location of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance has been one of the great maritime mysteries since the ship became trapped in ice and sank in 1915. Finding this symbol of the “heroic age” of polar exploration at the bottom of the Weddell Sea was long thought impossible because of the harshness of the Antarctic environment — “the evil conditions,” as Shackleton described them. Now a major scientific expedition, announced on Monday, is being planned with a mission to locate, survey and film the wreck. Endurance22 will launch early next year, in a vessel that will brave the most treacherous frozen waters, pounding its way through miles of pack ice. The effects of climate change will make the expedition a little less difficult, with melting ice easing the vessel’s passage. An international team of scientists with expertise in the study of ice and climate will be onboard, advancing knowledge of the Antarctic environment.

Mensun Bound, its director of exploration, headed the 2019 search for the Endurance that had to be called off because of extreme weather conditions, after an underwater vehicle became trapped beneath the ice. He told the Guardian: “There’s a complexity of emotions all swishing around within me. On the one hand, there’s great excitement. On the other, for the last three years, I’ve had to carry this persistent sadness in me that we didn’t find it last time. It’s never far from my thoughts. That ship is always teasing my imagination.” Bound said global warming in the Antarctic is “absolutely devastating,” but that the melting ice “has improved our chances” of discovering the shipwreck.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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