The Andrew Regan/Andrew Moon Transantarctic Expedition will be a 3000 mile journey across the entire continent to raise awareness of the impact of global climate change on that continent. The team of explorers, led by Regan and Moon, both of whom have been to the North and South Pole, will be conducting a number of scientific experiments along the way, measuring the healthy of the snow and ice pack there.
This is not unlike a number of other expeditions we’ve seen in recent years, but where this one differs is in their mode of transportation. Many polar explorers go on foot or skis. Some will use a kite to pull them along. But Regan and Moon will go via the CIV, or Concept Ice Vehicle pictured here.
The CIV is an experimental craft that’s been designed from the ground up to traverse the harsh Antarctic terrain. It’s light, weighing less than 800 pounds, and fast, reaching speeds in excess of 80 mph, has comes equipped with ground penetrating radar to help it avoid crevasses and other dangers well ahead of time.
It also uses a specially built BMW engine that burns biofuels, meaning that it also goes easy on the environment as well.
The plan is to depart from the Ronne Ice Shelf on the West Coast of Antarctica and head to the South Pole. Once that goal is achieved, the team will turn North, traversing the Trans-Antarctic Mountain Range to the coast at McMurdo, covering more than 3000 miles in the process.
The CIV has a one-man cockpit suspended on skis, so there will also be a support team coming along in two standard SSV’s (Science Support Vehicles). The SSV’s will carry most of the crew and gear, and will monitor the progress of the CIV while conducting their own environmental tests as well.
At this point, there is no news on when the team plans to head out to Antarctica. Their website has “London” listed as their “Current Location”, so I guess we’ll have to stay tuned and watch for updates. While I think it would be incredibly fun to take the CIV out for spin, I’d personally like to complete that last degree to the Pole under my own power. Still, this is a cool expedition with a sweet ride! 🙂
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