Alexey Shaburov's Project


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The MIR-1 crew has successfully completed its mission

Photo: Aleksej Nagaev ©

Mankind has set the Russian flag at the North Pole on the floor of the Arctic ocean. On August 2nd, at 6.10 pm the deep water manned vehicle Mir-1 was hoisted in the Akademik Fedorov ice-breaker after its dive at 9 am.

As stated by Arthur Chilingarov, Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the International Polar Year and Head of the deep-water part of the Arctic«2007 expedition, the bathyscaphe operated on the ocean floor for an hour and a half. During this time the crew set the Russian flag at the point of the North Pole.

Mr. Chilingarov mentioned that it was the hardest dive in his practice and the hardest expedition in his life. He is thankful to Vladimir Gruzdev and Anatoliy Sagalevich for being his company in this journey. “We proved that Russia is a great polar and marine power!” Mr. Chilingarov emphasized.

The bathyscaphe was piloted by Anatoliy Sagalevich, Head of the deep submersibles laboratory of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, who participated in the construction of the Mir vehicles. He has pointed out that the crew was helping a lot and they together overcame many obstacles. He joked they even exuded many litres of adrenalin. According to his notes the Arctic ocean bottom is wholly covered with sediment — Cucumaria japonica Semper, small fish, prawns – everything is very miniature because of the lack of oxygen.

We remind that the Mir bathyscaphes were built 20 years ago. In the expedition there were used two of the four bathyscaphes existing in the world which can dive to 6,000 meters.

The vehicles were descending at the speed of 25 meters per minute, that is they reached the bottom within three hours. But the emerging was hard. Akademik Fedorov was anchored in the glade. One can only imagine what it is like to get stuck in a fifty meter diameter hole! The compass and gyrocompass did not work as to exacerbate the situation. “The magnetic lines are vertical here,” — Evgeniy Chernayev said, pilot of the Mir-2. The glade was drifting alongside with the Arctic Ocean ice, where, among other things, ice-floes were. The situation became serious enough during the bathyscaphe lift as we lost touch with them, Mr. Sagalevich and Mr. Chernayev could not receive instructions from the ship.

Several times the bathyscaphe broke the surface but missed the place where it could have been caught by the crane. At first the Mir emerged sternwards getting real close to the two-meter high ice-floes, then portside where Akademik Fedorov was anchored, but the crane was on the right side of the ice-breaker. The first Mir snag on the ice-floe with its tiny flops but it immediately caused a breakdown. The vehicle was taxiing for about an hour and at 6.10 pm it was at last taken aboard the Akademik Fedorov.

As the crews stepped up aboard the Akademik Fedorov, they were greeted with three hurrays: “to Arthur Chilingarov, Vladimir Gruzdev and Anatoliy Sagalevich – conquerors of the North Pole!”

MVK International Exhibition Holding is a media partner of the Arctic“2007expedition. The MVK” expedition goal is the development of the Polar Museum exhibition, which was for the first time ever opened at the North Pole. The North Pole: New Opportunities in Life and Business project is led by Alexey Shaburov. He remarked: “We clearly see the significance of this event for the country, for the development and exploration of the polar regions. We have created a museum dedicated to Papanintsy. Our mission today is to keep on through generations the history and the feat of modern heroes-polar explorers.”

Natalia Yurchenko by phone,
Spokeswoman for Director General of MVK International Exhibition Holding
Akademik Fedorov research ship, the Arctic Ocean, the North Pole