For the past eight years, Operation IceBridge, a NASA mission that conducts aerial surveys of polar ice, has produced unprecedented three-dimensional views of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, providing scientists with valuable data on how polar ice is changing in a warming world. Now, for the first time, the campaign will expand its reach to explore the Arctic’s Eurasian Basin through two research flights based out of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the northern Atlantic Ocean.
The mission is surveying the region as part of its 2017 Arctic spring campaign, which completed its first flight on March 9 and will continue until May 12.
The Operation Icebridge Facebook page reveals that:
IceBridge had a great first mission of the campaign flying over Arctic sea ice to the North Pole and back. This is the earliest in the year the mission has been flown and the sun is still waiting for spring to rise at the highest latitudes, precluding good photo opportunities at the pole itself. Here [is an] image of Ellesmere Island and the surrounding sea ice with the sun peeking just over the horizon.
Photo credit NASA/Nathan Kurtz: