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India expands its scientific presence in the Antarctic

India is strengthening its scientific presence in the Antarctic after a cargo ship loaded with equipment to build a research station set sail on 30 September from Antwerp in the Netherlands.

The equipment is on board the Russian vessel Ivan Papanin, named after the Russian polar explorer, and is due to arrive in Cape Town on 22 October. Once there, the component parts of the Bharati (meaning ‘Indian’) research station will be loaded into 134 containers and shipped further to the Larsemann Hills in the eastern Antarctic. The construction of the research station is due to begin in early December and is expected to be finished by March 2012. Bharati will be India’s third research station on the continent, though only one is operational.

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