XXL trip to the “Polarstern”: quarantine for a premiere

Bremerhaven – It’s the next superlative mission!

After the largest Arctic expedition of all time, 50 scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) are now following the most spectacular charter flight and, at 13,700 km, the longest in the history of Lufthansa. On Sunday evening (9.30 p.m.) the Airbus A350 takes off from Hamburg Airport and lands 15 hours later in Port Stanley.

During the Antarctic mission, 12 Weddell seals are also to be sent

Photo: Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research

On the Falkland Islands, the scientists board the icebreaker “Polarstern” to obtain long-term data for two months in the Antarctic Weddell Sea for climate predictions. They were last here in 2018 and are now collecting the data from the measuring devices.

The reason for the unusual journey to the Antarctic is the corona pandemic, said an AWI spokeswoman. The charter flight should prevent the virus from reaching the region through the team.

The researchers and Lufthansa crew have been in quarantine in a hotel for two weeks, where they will stay until the start on Sunday. A disused terminal area is used so that you can go on board the machine without contact.


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