Polar Circumnavigation

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Polar circumnavigation is complete navigation around Earth through both the North Pole and the South Pole. Several parties have successfully done it, and it is only possible if Earth is a sphere.

Flat-Earthers incorrectly claim that Earth circumnavigation has never been done through both the poles, and they use it to “prove” a flat Earth. In reality, many have successfully done such feats.

November 14-17, 1965, Capt. Fred Lester Austin, Jr. and Harrison Finch took off from Honolulu, the United States, to circumnavigate the Earth through both the poles.

Route: Honolulu, United States – North Pole – London, England – Lisbon, Portugal – Buenos Aires, Argentina – South Pole – Christchurch, New Zealand – Honolulu, United States.

In 1977, PanAm Flight 50 circumnavigated the Earth through the North and South Pole to celebrate PanAm’s 50th anniversary.

Route: San Francisco, United States – North Pole – London, England – Cape Town, South Africa – South Pole – Auckland, New Zealand – San Francisco, United States.

In 1979, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Charles R. Burton set out from Greenwich, England, to the South Pole, and then headed north to the North Pole and back to Greenwich. The Guinness Book of World Records records this journey as the first surface polar circumnavigation.

Route: Greenwich, England – Cape Town, South Africa – South Pole – Auckland, New Zealand – Sydney, Australia – Los Angeles, United States – Vancouver, Canada – Yukon River, Canada – North Pole – Greenwich, UK.

In 1988-1989, Dick Smith circumnavigated the globe through both poles using a Twin Otter plane.

In 1992, Michael Palin made a documentary for the BBC featuring his travel from the Arctic to the South Pole.

Route: North Pole – Nord Base, Greenland – Svalbard, Norway – Norway – Helsinki, Finland – Leningrad, Soviet Union (now St. Petersburg) – Kyiv, Soviet Union – Odesa, Soviet Union – Istanbul, Turkey – Limassol, Cyprus – Cairo, Egypt – Khartoum, Sudan – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Nairobi, Kenya – Serengeti, Tanzania – Lusaka, Zambia – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Cape Town, South Africa – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Santiago, Chile – South Pole.

In 2009, the TAG Transpolar08 flight circumnavigated the Earth through the North and South Pole, at the same time breaking the speed record, with an average speed of 822.8 km/h.

Route: Farnborough, England – North Pole – Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada – Majuro, Marshall Islands – Christchurch, New Zealand – South Pole – Punta Arenas, Chile – Sal, Cape Verde – Farnborough, England.

On July 9-11, 2019, commemorating the Apollo Moon landing, the One More Orbit team broke the polar circumnavigation record using the Gulfstream G650ER aircraft.

Route: Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA – North Pole – Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan – Port Louis, Mauritius – South Pole – Punta Arenas, Chile – Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA.

At the time of this writing (October 2019), Mike Horn is attempting the same feat. He had already traversed the South Pole and is on his way to the North Pole. It is estimated his trip will be completed in December 2019.