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Coast Guard cutter reaches North Pole

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy arrived at the North Pole last Saturday, becoming the first U.S. surface ship to do so unaccompanied.

This is also only the fourth time a U.S. surface vessel has ever reached the North Pole, and the first since 2005.

Healy’s crew and science party, totaling 145 people, departed Dutch Harbor, Alaska Aug. 9, in support of GeoTraces, a historic, international effort to study the geochemistry of the world’s oceans.

This National Science Foundation funded expedition is focused on studying the Arctic Ocean to meet a number of scientific goals, including the creation of baseline measurements of the air, ice, snow, seawater, meltwater and ocean bottom sediment for future comparisons.

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