Antarctica is the Earth’s southernmost continent, located on the South Pole, where temperatures reach up to -90C. Anywhere between 1,000 and 5,000 scientists reside there at various research facilities across the continent. However, over the years, government scientists, including those from NASA, have come under fire amid claims they are from the public.
However, Jane Francis, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, has publicly backed the scientists.
Addressing BBC Radio 4 listeners on an “Antarctica” episode of “In Our Time”, she revealed exactly why agencies like NASA are so keen to explore the icy region.
Dr Francis said in 2010: “It is just a fantastic natural laboratory, you can go to Antarctica and the scientists can work very high on the top of the ice sheet.
“This means you can work at high altitude, the atmosphere is very clean, there’s little pollution and you can see space easily.
Scientists dig down in Antarctica (Image: GETTY)
Antarctica reaches temperatures of -90 degrees (Image: GETTY)
“This means you can work on space exploration and view the ozone hole without any issues.
“It is a fantastic natural laboratory.”
She went on to reveal how all the researchers in the South Pole help each other in the name of science.
Dr Francis added: “When you get to Antarctica you can forget about politics.
“All the countries are there to work together.
Jane Francis is director of the British Antarctic Survey (Image: BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY)
NASA have been interested in Antarctica for years (Image: GETTY)
“Because it is so remote, it is important that everyone works together collaboratively.
“Particularly in this era when the most successful projects are very expensive.”
It was previously revealed how after discovering “colossus penguins” used to live in Antarctica.
However, more shocking still, it was also detailed for nuclear weapons during the Cold War.