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Thanks to Azzecco for producing incredible Snow Cruiser models used in this video, visit: https://www.artstation.com/acez3d

Seventeen meters long, six meters wide, and weighing more than 34,000 kg, the Antarctic Snow Cruiser was unlike any exploration vehicle the world had ever seen. Designed to tackle the most difficult and inhospitable place on earth, five explorers would live, work and sleep aboard the machine in isolation while they ventured into uncharted regions of Antarctica. Equipped with enough food, fuel and supplies to last an entire year, the Snow Cruiser would carry the latest surveying instruments and tools. The enormous land cruiser would even carry a survey aircraft moored to its roof.

By 1939 a global race was underway to claim portions of Antarctica. With the prospect of huge oil, coal and mineral reserves under the ice, Norway, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand had all claimed large portions of the continent for themselves. Alarmed at the prospect of territorial claims, U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt established the U.S. Antarctic Service Expedition. It would be the first U.S. government sponsored expedition in decades, and would set sail for Antarctica in the fall of 1939.

The Antarctic Snow Cruiser would have a special role to play. Its main objective would be to reach the South Pole (only two prior expeditions had ever set foot on the South Pole prior to 1939). During its months-long trek, the Snow Cruiser and it’s aircraft would make surveys along its course, and in just a few months the Americans were expecting to explore more of Antarctica than all previous expeditions combined. The ambitious effort would help the Americans establish their own territorial claim on the continent.

But in the race to leave for Antarctica by the fall of 1939, the Snow Cruiser would have to be constructed in just 11 weeks, an incredibly short amount of time for such an ambitious, first of its kind machine. Soon, it would become abundantly clear that the Cruiser had been over-designed and under-tested, with extreme optimism seemingly guiding it’s design.

Select imagery/video supplied by Getty Images: https://www.gettyimages.com/

Music used in this production (reproduced under license):

Intro Song: “The Plot Thickens”- https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/142094636-plot-thickens-2-minutes-dramatic-cinematic-documentary-orche

Song 2: “Cinematic Fast Paced Piano And Tech” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/93587167-cinematic-fast-paced-piano-and-tech-documentary-innovative-i

Song 3: “Vintage Swing - Old Timey Underscore” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/101200375-vintage-swing-old-timey-underscore

Song 4: “Alive And Frenzy”- https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/83269097-f-giovannangelo-alive-and-frenzy-orchestra-upbeat-stimulatin

Song 5: “The Plot Thickens”- https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/142094636-plot-thickens-2-minutes-dramatic-cinematic-documentary-orche

Song 6: “Did We Do Everything” - https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/CIkv58Q3sz/

Song 7: “Stellar Course” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/130144827-stellar-course-2-minutes-documentary-cinematic-dramatic-back

Song 8: “Transhumanism” - https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/MONxUtWY5c/

Thanks for watching!