The First Russian Meteorite Expedition organized by Ural Federal University begins

Ekaterinburg, Russia, December 15, 2015 — /EPR NETWORK/ — The team of six scientists taking part in the expedition came to the University in order to participate in the farewell ceremony after which they headed to the airport. They had to take several flights via Moscow and Dubai to Cape Town, before they reach Queen Maud Land in Antarctica. The team are hoping to find at least 100 meteorites during their two-week search. They will collect meteoritic matter and then, after January 10, will bring it to the Research and Educational Center “Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies” at Ural Federal University. The scientific supervisor of the project is UrFU Professor Victor Grokhovsky.

According to prof. Grokhovsky, the blue ice of Antarctica contains meteorites and dust from the Moon and Mars: “Antarctica is a storehouse of space material and a variety of ores in general. There are ‘blue ice’ territories, which in fact are glaciers rearing over rocks because of the movement of ice on the mountain slopes; they have been moving very slowly for millions of years. Powerful winds from the coast blow away the snow, sublimating ice. And in the ice there are a lot of meteorite fragments, which had been reaching the surface of our planet over the millions of years; you can just go and collect them. Meteorite is literally “free” material, which is as old as our planet–about 4.5 billion years old. Imagine how much you can learn about the origin of the universe, life, its natural laws and, therefore, the future of our planet!”

The scientists have promised to share the obtained results with their foreign colleagues.

The students, the management and partners of the university, and, of course, relatives and friends of the members of the expedition came to UrFU to wish good luck in a two-week journey of scientific discovery.
Having reached Cape Town, the group will perform a communication test with the Media Center of Ural Federal University, which will receive and spread information during the expedition. By December 19, the expedition plans to get to “Novolazarevskaya” station, situated at the coast of Queen Maud Land.

Reference

UrFU Antarctic Meteorite Expedition is the first scientific project in the history of modern Russia aimed at search of meteoritic matter on the southernmost continent. It became possible thanks to the University’s participation in the “Project 5-100”. The author of the research project is Professor Victor Grokhovsky, Ural Federal University.

The budget of the expedition is estimated at about 12.8 million rubles, most of the sum provided by Ural Federal University. Thanks to the efforts of the Students’ Union of UrFU, 500 thousand rubles have been collected by means of crowdfunding, and some money was invested by sponsors, such as Ekaterinburg Engineering Company “Plana”, who invested 1 million rubles. The clothes for the expedition members were sewed by the local company “Discovery”, and the food supply was provided by “NL International”.

The expedition will return to Ekaterinburg in January 2016. More trips are planned, after the collected material has been studied. Therefore, the fundraising for Russian expeditions to the Antarctic continues. Everyone can support the unique research project of the Russian scientists at the expedition’s website: http://grokhovsky.urfu.ru/

Contact-Details: Ural Federal University
19, Mira str., Ekaterinburg, Russia, 620002
Tel.: +7 343 3759777
E-mail: info.international@urfu.ru
http://urfu.ru

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