SPOT 6 support for a Polar Expedition to the Main Glacier on Spitsbergen Island
With a SPOT 6 mosaic, Airbus Defence and Space supported the first of the IceLegacy expeditions: the main glacier of Spitsbergen Island. From 4th to 12th August 2014, the explorers Børge Ousland and Vincent Colliard crossed the 180 km of the main glacier of the Norwegian island, on skis. Web users followed their progress live on the SPOT 6 mosaic.
In supporting the first IceLegacy expedition, Airbus Defence and Space is helping to raise public awareness of the retreat of the polar glaciers and dwindling fresh water resources. The SPOT 6 mosaic accompanied the famous Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland and his partner, the Frenchman Vincent Colliard, on the main glacier of Spitsbergen Island, the world’s 13th largest ice field.
On the www.icelegacy.com website, web users monitored the progress of the explorers. Texts and photos about each stage in the expedition were accessible from the SPOT 6 mosaic placed on a geo-referenced background. Airbus Defence and Space supplied this mosaic, consisting of six SPOT 6 images acquired in the winter of 2013.
The climb of the highest glacier in the Arctic began on 4th August 2014 in the north of Spitsbergen Island. On the way, the two adventurers scaled the 1713 m Mount Newton, the highest mountain in the Svalbard archipelago. They left the glacier after covering 180 km on skis, on 12th August 2014.
The goal of the IceLegacy project conceived by our two explorers is to promote efforts to combat glacier retreat. Their aim is to cross the world’s 20 largest glaciers on skis. This epic 10-year journey will take them from Russia to Alaska and from Patagonia to Pakistan. The next expedition will be to the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago in Russia or Ellesmere Island in Canada.