Reference work entry
“Polarstern” – (German “polar star”) a German research vessel and icebreaker of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Potsdam and Bremerhaven, Germany). It was commissioned in 1982 and is mainly used to study the Arctic and Antarctica. It is built and equipped by the shipyards of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel and Nobiskrug in Rendsburg. The vessel has a double hull 118 m long, the width of 25.07 m, and the draft of 11.21 m. The vessel is designed to operate at temperatures up to −50 °C and to overcome the ice thickness up to 1.5 m at a speed of 5 knots. Displacement is 17,300 tons, 4 engines with a capacity of 144,000 kW, and the speed is 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h). In 1991, “P.” helped the Swedish icebreaker “Oden” to reach the North Pole. In 1993, “P.” participated in the expedition “TRANSDRIFT-1.” In 2001, the icebreaker again visited the North Pole with the US icebreaker “Healy.” In 2008, “P.” was the first vessel ever covering the Northwest and Northeast Passages during one expedition and thus circumnavigating around the North Pole. The third time, “P.” visited the Pole in August 2011.
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