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Robert Falcon Scott

OLogy Series
ologist
card
320

Robert Falcon Scott

OLogy Series
ologist

In 1910, British naval officer Robert Falcon Scott set sail for Antarctica aboard the Terra Nova. He hoped to be the first to reach the South Pole. After a grueling journey, Scott and 4 teammates reach- ed the Pole in 1912--only to find that a Norwegian team had beaten them. Scott's team died from cold and starvation on the return trip. But his expedi- tion wasn't a failure. His team's scientific research paved the way for future exploration of Antarctica.

Scott's team carried supplies on their large, heavy sleds called sledges. To haul the sledges, they relied on:

dogs only

dogs and ponies

dogs, ponies, and men

Are you right?

Correct!

Scott brought only a few dogs, relying mainly on ponies and motorized sleds in the beginning of the journey. When they reached the high polar plateau, the men hauled the sleds themselves. This backbreaking work was called "man-hauling."

Scott's team included many scientists. A meteorologist used weather balloons to:

take pictures of the landscape

attract Antarctic birds

measure temperature and air pressure in the atmosphere

Are you right?

Correct!

Other scientists in the team included a naturalist who sketched the wildlife along the coast, and a physicist who studied the ice. Geologists collected rocks and surveyed the land. These scientists paved the way for future research in Antarctica.

Henry Bowers, explorer

Science--
the rock-foundation
of all effort!

Scott's plan was to reach the Pole with all the men in his expedition party.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

The team set off from base camp with 16 men, but only 5 were to make the entire journey. Smaller "support groups" turned back to the base at set times.

The 1910 Terra Nova expedition was Scott's first trip to Antarctica.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

In fact, Scott became a national hero in 1904, when he returned from his first expedition to Antarctica. He and two other men traveled farther south than anyone before.

When Scott's team left England in 1910, he believed his was the only expedition heading for Antarctica.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen orig- inally set sail for the North Pole. After learning the Americans had reached it, he changed course and headed for the South Pole instead!

Lived: 1868-1912
Hometown: Devon, United Kingdom
Job: Captain, British Royal Navy
Known for: Leading the British expedition that reached the South Pole in January, 1912
Legacy: In 1956, the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was built as a base for scientific research in Antarctica.
Cool Fact: A lifelong sailor, Scott entered cadet training for the British navy when he was only 13!

Image credits: Scott Polar Research Institute.