Email Print Share

News Release 11-270

NSF Awards Logistical Support Contract for U.S. Antarctic Program

View of McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

McMurdo Station is one of three research stations supported by the U.S. Antarctic Program.

December 28, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a multi-year contract to Lockheed Martin for logistical support for the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP). NSF provides funding for scientific research as well as for the necessary associated infrastructure and logistics, which includes three year-round research stations in Antarctica and two science vessels in the Southern Ocean. Lockheed Martin will begin providing logistical support on April 1, 2012.

"As the manager of the U.S. Antarctic Program, NSF looks forward to working with Lockheed Martin and our other partners over the coming years, addressing together the challenges of supporting research as the scientific frontiers in Antarctica advance and technology evolves to support it," said Karl Erb, director of NSF's Office of Polar Programs. "In addition to supporting forefront research funded by NSF and other Federal agencies, the Program provides the foundation for U.S. leadership in the governance of the only continent in the world set aside by international treaty for peaceful purposes, of which science is the foremost example."

More than 3,000 Americans participate each year in the program's research and logistical activities, involving scientists as well as support personnel from the private sector and other Federal agencies that include the Department of Defense, NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Energy.

The overarching USAP goal is to advance the scientific forefront when research conducted in Antarctica offers a special way forward. The scientific disciplines benefiting from this broad mandate include astronomy, astrophysics, atmospheric sciences, biology, earth science, environmental science, geology, glaciology, marine biology, oceanography and geophysics. USAP research provides insight into the ways in which Antarctica, its ice sheet and the Southern Ocean have interacted with and impacted global processes in the past and how they might do so in the future.

Lockheed Martin will provide logistical support for research at McMurdo Station, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, and Palmer Station, as well as for field research on the continent and oceanographic research in the Southern Ocean.


Media Contacts
Dana Topousis, NSF, (703) 292-7750, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Connect with us online
NSF website:
NSF News:
For News Media:
Awards database:

Follow us on social