2020-2021 Science Planning Summaries
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2020-2021 USAP Field Season
Station and Vessel Schedules

The United States Antarctic Program operates three permanent research stations on the continent and two research vessels.

Opening Dates

  Austral Summer Openings Austral Winter Openings
Operational Science
(Early Season*)
19 Aug 2020 22 Aug 2020
19 Sep 2020
24 Feb 2021
McMurdo (Mainbody) 30 Sep 2020 2 Oct 2020
South Pole 4 Nov 2020 4 Nov 2020 15 Feb 2021
Palmer 2 Dec 2020 20 Apr 2021 11 Apr 2021
Research Vessels Vessels Operate Year-Round
(Find Vessel Schedules)
*A limited number of science projects deploy early

Estimated Population

Summer Winter
McMurdo 850 (weekly average)
2,300 (total)
(winter total)
South Pole 62 (weekly average)
62 (total)
(winter total)
Palmer 23 (weekly average)
RV/IB* NBP 45 science and staff
ARSV** LMG Capacity per cruise: 27 science and staff
Capacity per transit to/from Palmer Station: 37 science and staff with two berthing vans.
*RV/IB, Research Vessel/Icebreaker
**ARSV, Antarctic Research Support Vessel