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Next to the North Pole | by jan.of.norway
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Next to the North Pole

Research station in amazing surroundings.

View - The Bigger, The Better.

A short history.

The discovery of this place happened in 1610 when a whale hunter found the first pieces of coal. The commercial exploitation of coal started in 1916 by the company Kings Bay (KB).

The waters around Svalbard are very nutritious and rich of fish and mammals. Hunters and fishers have exploited this water – on and off – since 1610.

KB started a supply base for the fishing vessels 1930.

Tourists entered the town from cruising ships and explored the area. KB opened a hotel in 1939, Nordpol hotel.

The mining have not been continuous. Money, war, accidents, explosions have stopped the mining from time to time. The last big explosion accident in 1962 made the company close down all operations. A total of at least 64 people lost their lives in the mines trough the years. All mining activities were closed down in 1963. Even a Norwegian government had to step down because of the handling of the situation around the affair.

In 1963 and 1964 the town was “built” down. A number of houses were burnt, equipment were dumped or sold and shipped away.

The major polar research institution in Norway saw the destroying of the community. In 1964 the Norwegian authorities stopped the devastation and signed an agreement with a research organisation ESRO. The start of the research town was founded.

To day there are scientists from all over the world, and ten countries have established their own research station in Ny-Ålesund.

Historic expeditions have set out from this place.

1925 Amundsen, Ellsworth to Nort Pole in airplane. Reached 88° North.

1926 Byrd, Bennett in airplane to North Pole. Claimed to reach the Pole.

1926 Amundsen, Ellswort, Nobile in airship or zeppelin to fly over the North Pole - Transpolar. Success

1928 Nobile in airship to North Pole. Crashed on the return. About 1400 people was involved in the search. Amundsen crashed his airplane in the drifting ice and disappeared during this search.


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Taken in April 1989