iD magazine - - Smarter In 60 Seconds... -

The Ger­man re­search ship Po­larstern, which was de­signed as an ice­breaker, has been in use for 33 years— with no end in sight. Each year it spends an av­er­age of 320 days at sea ex­plor­ing the po­lar wa­ters and trans­port­ing peo­ple and sup­plies to the Arc­tic and Antarc­tic Oceans. In ad­di­tion to un­der­wa­ter glid­ers the ship is also equipped with a re­motely op­er­ated ve­hi­cle (deep-sea robot). Po­larstern was the first con­ven­tion­ally pow­ered ves­sel to reach the North Pole— on Septem­ber 7, 1991. Since 1982 it has trav­eled over 1.7 mil­lion miles, equiv­a­lent to 67 trips around the Earth at the lat­i­tude of the Equa­tor.

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