After reading the last journal entry I got to thinking about the history of Antarctica and how people like Scott and Shackleton set out to the south pole. What scientific achievements have made it possible for the ship to not get stuck in the ice like Shackleton's was? I think it is amazing that a century ago it was a feat to get to the Antarctic and now you are studying it.

Anne Marie Wotkyns

Hi John, You asked a very interesting question, so I emailed Captain Mattias Peterson, Captain of the Oden for his thoughts on this. He was happy to help, first reminding us that although Shackleton and Scott are often the most mentioned Antarctic explorers, Norwegian Roald Amundsen was the first man to reach the geographic South Pole. Captain Peterson feels that modern knowledge of ice concentration ( from satellites), weather information (weather institutes and satellites) and experience (captain's experience) all make polar exploration easier and safer than 100 years ago. We have a lot more information than Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott had, and, we have experienced sailors who study and learn from all the current information available.With strong, fast icebreakers like the Oden, sailors like Captain Peterson can visit the Antarctic every year, learning and building on their experience. The same goes for modern Antarctic scientists - with better, faster, safer transportation to Antarctica, they can return each year, building on their knowledge and making many new discoveries.
I have been reading a lot of books about Antarctica's history of exploration, and I think the biggest technological advancement is the development of diesel powered engines in ships. This ships can move quickly, consistently, safely, and with less manpower than the steam powered or combination steam/sail powered ships that were used 100 years ago. What do you think is the most important technological/scientific achievement?

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