India's first South Pole expedition launch shown via video conferencing

Tuesday, November 2 2010

The first South Pole expedition made by India and the 30th scientific expedition to Antarctica was launched via video conferencing, reports Digital Goa.

Video conferencing software allowed Prithviraj Chavan, Union Minister of State for Earth Science, and Dr. Shivinder Singh Sidhu, the governor of Goa, to launch the mission together despite the governor being in Goa while Chavan was in New Delhi.

Although India has sent 29 previous missions to Antarctica, this is the first time an Indian team is set to visit the South Pole, said Governor Sidhu. While there, they will investigate the site where the new research station, Bharati, is proposed to be established.

The expedition also celebrates the centenary of the first expedition to reach the South Pole in 1911.

Dr. Rasik Ravindra, director of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research heads the team of explorers. He will be accompanied by three scientists, three doctors and a photographer. They are scheduled to leave on November 6.

The government of India approved formation of the Ministry of Earth Sciences on July 12, 2007. Indira Gandhi created the Department of Ocean Development as an independent scientific department on July 27, 1981, and the department was changed to the Ministry of Ocean Development in February 2006, according to the India Education Diary.