List of firsts in the Geographic North Pole
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This is a list of firsts in the Geographic North Pole.
- First to reach the Geographic North Pole (disputed): there are two claimants, Frederick Cook, accompanied by two Inuit men, Ahwelah and Etukishook, on April 21, 1908 and Robert Edwin Peary and his employee Matthew Henson and four Inuit men Ootah, Seegloo, Egingway, and Ooqueah on April 6, 1909. Neither claim is widely accepted today.
- First to fly over the North Pole (disputed): On May 9, 1926, Americans Richard E. Byrd and pilot Floyd Bennett claimed a successful flight over the North Pole in a Fokker F-VII Tri-motor called the Josephine Ford. Byrd took off from Spitsbergen and returned to the same airfield. His claim, widely accepted at first, has been credibly challenged since.
- First to fly over the North Pole (accepted): On May 12, three days after the Byrd flight, Norwegian Roald Amundsen, his American sponsor Lincoln Ellsworth and the Italian aeronautic engineer Umberto Nobile flew over the Pole in the semi-rigid airship Norge, designed and piloted by Nobile. The total crew was 16 men. The Norge began in Spitsbergen and flew to Alaska, making its conquest of the pole unquestionable. This is the first expedition of any kind that is universally agreed to have reached the North Pole.
- First North Pole ice station: North Pole-1 (Soviet Union) was established at (about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the North Pole) on May 21, 1937. The expedition members: oceanographer Pyotr Shirshov, meteorologist Yevgeny Fyodorov, radio operator Ernst Krenkel, and the leader Ivan Papanin conducted scientific research at the station for the next 274 days. On February 19, 1938, the group was evacuated by the ice breakers Taimyr and Murman. By that time the station drifted 2850 km (1,770 mi) and was approaching the eastern coast of Greenland.
- First landing at the North Pole: three planes of Sever-2 expedition (Soviet Union). Pilots: Ivan Cherevichnyy, Vitaly Maslennikov and Ilya Kotov. Cherevichnyy's plane was the first one to land at 4:44pm (Moscow Time, UTC+04:00) on April 23, 1948.
- First people to undisputedly reach it: Soviet Sever-2 expedition of 24 scientists and flight crew led by Aleksandr Kuznetsov. Landed by planes, April 23, 1948
- First people to parachute onto the North Pole: Vitali Volovich and Andrei Medvedev (Soviet Union) on May 9, 1949, from Douglas C-47 Skytrain, registered CCCP H-369.
- First naval vessel to reach it: the USS Nautilus. August 3, 1958
- First (confirmed) surface conquest (with skidoo): Ralph Plaisted. April 19, 1968
- First to reach the North Pole by surface travel (with dogsled): team led by Sir Wally Herbert. 1968-69
- First surface ship to reach the North Pole: nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika (Soviet Union). August 17, 1977
- First people to ski from the continent to the North Pole: Expedition of Dmitry Shparo, Jury Khmelevsky, Vladimir Ledenev, Anatoly Melnikov, Vladimir Rakmanov, Vasily Shishkarev and Vadim Davydov (Soviet Union). March 16- May 31, 1979
- First confirmed expedition to reach the North Pole without resupply: Will Steger International Polar Expedition. May 1, 1986. Team members were: Paul Schurke, Brent Boddy, Richard Weber, Geoff Carroll, Ann Bancroft and a team of 21 dogs. Brent Boddy & Richard Weber became the first Canadians to reach the North Pole on foot while Ann Bancroft became the first woman to trek to the Pole.
- First surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean on skis: Soviet-Canadian Polar Bridge expedition, 1988, from Northern Siberia to Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve in Canada, via the North Pole. Team members: 9 Soviets (Dmitry Shparo, Mikhail Malakhov, Vladimir Ledenov, Yury Khemeleski, Vasily Shishkariov, Alexandr Beliaev, Anatoly Melnikhov) and 4 Canadians (Richard Weber, Christopher Holloway, Max Buxton, Laurie Dexter). Richard Weber (Canadian team leader) became the first person to reach the North Pole from both sides of the Arctic Ocean.
- First hot air balloon flight launched from the North Pole: Global Concern Expedition led by Richard Weber. 1989
- First attempt to journey to the North Pole and return using only human resources: 1992 Weber Malakhov Expedition. Richard Weber and Mikhail (Misha) Malakhov departed from Ward Hunt on March 13. Eighty-five days later, on June 14, they reached 89 degrees 39. With only 39 kilometers short of the Pole, they had to make the decision to turn back if they wanted to have any hope of returning to Ward Hunt. On June 21, due to the lack of ice, they were picked up by an airplane and brought back to safety.
- First commercial North Pole expedition: Weber Malakhov North Pole Dash.1993 Richard Weber and Dr. Mikhail (Misha) Malakhov pioneered the first commercial North Pole expedition. Today numerous companies take more than 100 people annually to the Pole.
- First confirmed journey to the North Pole and return using only human resources: 1995 Weber Malakhov Expedition. Richard Weber and Dr. Mikhail (Misha) Malakhov became the first to reach the North Pole and return to their starting point on land (Ward Hunt, Canada), with no outside help, no dogs, air planes, or re-supplies. They departed Ward Hunt on February 14 and reached the Pole eighty one days later, on May 12. On June 15, they were back at Ward Hunt establishing a record of 108 days for the longest unsupported polar journey. They are the only people to have reached the Pole four times.
- First scuba dive at the North Pole: Andrei Rozhkov (Russia) on April 22, 1998 (ended up in fatality).
- First successful scuba dive at the North Pole: Michael Wolff (Austria), Brett Cormick (UK) and Bob Wass (USA) on April 24, 1999
- First time that an all-women group has reached the pole from a Russian based departure: Women Quest 2001 guided by Josée Auclair. April 2001.
- First woman of Ukrainian descent to reach the North Pole: Moki Kokoris. April 18, 2003.
- First persons to reach the North Pole during the Arctic winter: Børge Ousland and Mike Horn. March 23, 2006
- First reigning monarch to reach it: Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Easter Sunday, 16 April 2006
- First expedition to reach the North Pole on snowshoes exclusively: April 26, 2006 North Pole Classic. Richard Weber guided Conrad Dickinson to the North Pole with no re-supplies. This was Richard Weber's fifth full North Pole expedition. He has trekked to the North Pole more than anyone in history.
- On 21 February 2007 HRH Prince Edward announced the first British Army Expedition the Geographic North Pole, to be led by Captain Andrew Cooney (the youngest person to walk to the South Pole) www.northpole08.com.
- First to dive to geographic North Pole sea bottom: Arktika 2007 expedition on August 2, 2007, by two MIR submarines. Crew members were: Arthur Chilingarov, Anatoly Sagalevich and Vladimir Gruzdev on MIR-1; Yevgeny Chernyaev, Mike McDowell and Frederik Paulsen on MIR-2.
- First American morning news show to reach the North Pole: Today show reached by Matt Lauer
- First South African and first African-born woman to reach Magnetic North Pole- Lee Swan, Manager at Deloitte South Africa.
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