Wikipedia:Today's featured article/June 27, 2010

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Robert Falcon Scott

The Terra Nova Expedition was led by Robert Falcon Scott with the objective of being the first to reach the geographical South Pole. Scott and four companions reached the Pole on 17 January 1912 to find that a Norwegian team, led by Roald Amundsen, had preceded them by 33 days. Scott's entire party died on the return journey from the pole; some of their bodies and journals were discovered by a search party in November 1912. The expedition, named after its supply ship, was a private venture, financed by public contributions augmented by a government grant. As well as its polar attempt, the expedition carried out a comprehensive scientific programme, explored Victoria Land and the Western Mountains, and made the first-ever extended sledging journey in the depths of an Antarctic winter (to Cape Crozier, to collect Emperor Penguin eggs). For many years after his death, Scott's status as tragic hero was unchallenged and few questions were asked about the causes of the disaster which overtook his party. In the final quarter of the 20th century, the expedition came under closer scrutiny and more critical views were expressed about its organisation and management. The degree of Scott's personal culpability remains a matter of controversy among commentators. (more...)

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