Captain Robert Falcon Scott in polar gearOn 17th January 1912, members of the British Antarctic Expedition or Terra Nova Expedition (Terra Nova means "new land"), led by Captain Robert F. Scott, reached the South Pole. Hoping to have been the first people to achieve that goal, Scott and his companions were devastated to find that a party from Norway, led by Captain Roald Amundsen, had beaten them to the Pole by 34 or 35 days. To get there, the men had endured a gruelling journey across the icy continent of Antarctica. They now faced an equally long and difficult trek back to their base camp. But tragedy would soon follow.
Robert Falcon Scott
Robert Falcon Scott was born in Devonport, England, in 1868. He served on a number of Royal Navy ships in the 1880s and 1890s. The Royal Geographical Society appointed him to command the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901–04. The expedition, which included Ernest Shackleton, reached further south than anyone before them and Scott returned to Britain a hero. He now began to plan an expedition to be the first to reach the South Pole, spending years to raise funds to pay for the expensive trip.
The British Antarctic Expedition's ship, Terra Nova, held up in pack ice, 13th December 1910
Arrival in Antarctica
Scott's Antarctic Expedition was a 2600-kilometre (1600-mile), four-month, return journey from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. The total journey was approximately the same distance as from Paris to Moscow, or from the surface of the Earth to its core.
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