Fifteen years ago, Russian scientists reached the bottom of the ocean at the North Pole for the first time in the world
August 2, 2022 will mark the 15th anniversary of the High-latitude Arctic Deep Sea Expedition in 2007, when for the first time in history people reached the bottom at the geographic point of the North Pole. The Association of polar explorers has planned a number of solemn events dedicated to this event.
In the framework of the expedition the Mir-1 and Mir-2 deep manned submersibles were lowered under the drifting ice of the Arctic Ocean. For the first time in history people reached the bottom at the geographic North Pole. The legendary expedition was attended by the President of the Association of Polar Explorers, A. Chilingarov. It was he, on the Mir-1 submersible, who had planted the Russian flag of titanium on the seabed, and also left a capsule with a message for posterity. There was also carried out sampling of soil and flora from the depth of 4261 meters.
The commander of the Mir-1 submersible, Anatoli Sagalevich, statesman and public figure Vladimir Gruzdev, commander of the Mir-2 submersible, Evgeny Chernyaev, Swedish scientist and explorer Frederik Paulsen and director of Australian Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions LLC, Mike McDowell also took part in the dive.
The submersibles spent nearly nine hours underwater. When a depth of 3,000 meters was reached, communication suddenly broke down. Another dangerous situation occurred during surfacing, when one of the apparatuses hit a jet stream and rushed under the icebreaker's keel, then to the stern and propellers. "Mir" managed to get away with only cosmetic damage related to the antenna and searchlight, but the lives of the crew were in real danger.
"I don't know about the others, but I was scared at the time when we came to the surface and realized we couldn't get into the ice hole. We were thrown into endless ice. As a professional who knows the ice, I knew it was impossible to get out of there. It was very scary. Those who were standing on deck waiting for us were also scared. But God helped and we got out", - recollects A.N. Chilingarov.
For the first time in the history of scientific exploration of the Arctic, Russian oceanographers and polar researchers carried out research at a depth of over 4,000 meters. Participants of the dives for the first time saw the geographic North Pole at the bottom of the ocean. On the same day the Russian President Vladimir Putin contacted with polar explorers by phone, congratulatory telegrams followed, and the media around the world exploded with emotion.
The participants were presented with awards for courage and heroism shown in extreme conditions, and the successful conduct of the High-latitude Arctic Deep Sea Expedition. Three of them were awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation and one was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 3rd degree.
On September 16, 2022 the Association of Polar Explorers is planning a number of solemn events timed to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the High-latitude Arctic Deep Sea Expedition of 2007.
"Our expedition drew the attention of the whole world to the Arctic, reminded it that Russia is a great polar power, multiplied the glory of our state as a center of scientific discovery and research. It is important not to forget about this event and tell our young people about it, to inspire them to new feats", - says Arthur Chilingarov.
The expedition will be also dedicated to several photo exhibitions. During the fall in the streets and boulevards of Moscow will be a few photo exhibitions, illustrating the history of diving. And from September 19 to 23 a similar exposition will be presented in the State Duma building.
In addition, as part of the XII International Forum "The Arctic: Today and the Future", which will be held on December 8-9 in St. Petersburg, special events will be organized in honor of the expedition.