Russia’s Icebreaker Sets New Speed Record for Reaching North Pole

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Making the journey from Murmansk to the North Pole in 79 hours, Russia’s nuclear icebreaker, 50 Let Pobedy, set a new speed record. Reaching the North Pole at 0233 hours on August 17, 2017, 50 Let Pobedy undertook the voyage to commemorate the historic voyage by the earlier record-setter, Arktika.

The previous record was set in 1977 by the icebreaker Arktika. 50 Let Pobedy smashed the record by completing the journey in half as much time as Arktika. What was special about the memorial voyage was that out of the 100 people on the vessel, some members were from the original 1977 voyage that was completed by Arktika.

The expedition brought about several matters for discussion including year-round navigation along the Northern Sea Route and what may be done with the already decommissioned Arktika. There is a chance that the vessel, built in 1975, will be on display in a museum.

“The key task of the conference is to try to understand whether it is economically worth to develop year-round navigation along the entire Norther Sea Route,” the 2017 voyage leader, Director General of the nuclear fleet authority, Atomflot, Vyacheslav Ruksha told Russian news agency TASS. He further went on to say, “Our veterans have mastered the Kara Sea, and it has become obvious to everyone that nuclear-powered icebreakers are capable of ensuring stable, sustainable year-round navigation.”

To celebrate the record, there will be a ceremony and the Russian flag will be planted.