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Helicopter flies over town.
Photo Credit: Peter Rejcek
A helicopter flies over McMurdo Station, one of three year-round research stations that are part of the U.S. Antarctic Program. The National Science Foundation recently announced that Lockheed Martin would assume the logistical support role for the USAP beginning on April 1, 2012.

Contract award

NSF picks Lockheed Martin to lead logistical support for the USAP

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a multiyear contract to Lockheed Martin External Non-U.S. government site for logistical support for the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) External U.S. government site.

NSF provides funding for scientific research, as well as for the necessary associated infrastructure and logistics, which includes three year-round research stations in Antarctica and two science vessels in the Southern Ocean. Lockheed Martin will begin providing logistical support on April 1, 2012.

“As the manager of the U.S. Antarctic Program, NSF looks forward to working with Lockheed Martin and our other partners over the coming years, addressing together the challenges of supporting research as the scientific frontiers in Antarctica advance and technology evolves to support it,” said Karl Erb, director of NSF’s Office of Polar Programs.

“In addition to supporting forefront research funded by NSF and other federal agencies, the [USAP] provides the foundation for U.S. leadership in the governance of the only continent in the world set aside by international treaty for peaceful purposes, of which science is the foremost example,” Erb said.

More than 3,000 Americans participate each year in the program’s research and logistical activities, involving scientists and support personnel from the private sector and other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense External U.S. government site, NASA External U.S. government site, the U.S. Geological Survey External U.S. government site and the Department of Energy External U.S. government site.

The overarching USAP goal is to advance scientific knowledge, and research conducted in Antarctica offers a special way forward. The scientific disciplines benefiting from this broad mandate include astronomy, astrophysics, atmospheric sciences, biology, earth science, environmental science, geology, glaciology, marine biology, oceanography and geophysics.

USAP research provides insight into the ways in which Antarctica, its ice sheet and the Southern Ocean have interacted with and affected global processes in the past and how they might do so in the future.

Lockheed Martin will provide logistical support for research at McMurdo Station External U.S. government site, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station External U.S. government site, and Palmer Station External U.S. government site, as well as for field research on the continent and oceanographic research in the Southern Ocean.

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Curator: Peter Rejcek, Antarctic Support Contract | NSF Official: Winifred Reuning, Division of Polar Programs