Richard Byrd: 1st Antarctic Expedition

348 Words2 Pages
Richard Byrd’s exploration in October 1928 was the first American mechanical age expedition of Antarctica. The program was the first of its kind to use the airplane, aerial camera, snowmobile, and communication resources. Byrd used two ships and three airplanes to travel to Antarctica. When Byrd and his crew arrived, the first substantial supply base initiated was named “Little America”, and was built on the Ross Ice Shelf; the world’s largest body of floating ice. Flights were made from the base to the pole and back in less than 19 hours. On the expedition, Byrd discovered the Rockefeller Mountains on Christmas day, and a large unknown territory beyond them was discovered and named Marie Byrd Land, after Byrd’s wife. The lowest temperature recorded at Little America was -72.2°F on July 28. However, a worse condition than this occurred in July when a combination of a 25-mile wind and a temperature of -64° were recorded. Subzero temperatures were recorded every month throughout the winter at Little America with the highest temperature being 17°F on August 19. The sun came up on the horizon for the first time on August 23. A few months later on October 13th, investigation of the Queen Maud Mountains was to begin and be completed before spring arrived. Approximately 100 miles south of Little America, the plane’s engine began to leak a significant amount of fuel and the emergency radio had failed to work. Eventually, other pilots had flown out to their rescue, suspecting they had run out of fuel after not returning on time. Both planes arrived back to Little America by midnight. The final flight was made on January 1st when Byrd flew west in his plane to Discovery Inlet, and then south towards the middle of the Ross Ice Shelf. After the ground surveys were complete; Byrd and his crew returned to Little America after 12 days. Finally, the expedition team reached their

More about Richard Byrd: 1st Antarctic Expedition

Open Document