2023-2024 Science Planning Summary
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Read the latest information from NSF on coronavirus (COVID-19)
2023-2024 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*)
14 Aug 2023 Continuing through Winter/WinFly 25 Feb 2024
McMurdo (Mainbody) 5 Oct 2023 9 Oct 2023
South Pole 1 Nov 2023 4 Nov 2023 15 Feb 2024
Palmer 1 Oct 2023 29 Oct 2023 1 Apr 2024
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)
(winter total)
South Pole 105
(weekly average)
(winter total)
Palmer 23-44
(weekly average)
RV/IB* NBP Capacity per cruise: 45 science and staff
ARSV** LMG Capacity per cruise: 36 science and staff
*RV/IB, Research Vessel/Icebreaker
**ARSV, Antarctic Research Support Vessel