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The Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911–1914), headed by Douglas Mawson, explored the largely uncharted coast of Antarctica due south of Australia. Mawson was inspired to lead his own venture by his experiences on Ernest Shackleton's Nimrod expedition in 1907–1909. During its time in Antarctica, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition's sledging parties covered around 2,600 miles (4,180 km) of unexplored territory. Its ship, SY Aurora (pictured), navigated 1,800 miles (2,900 km) of unmapped coastline. Scientific activities included meteorological measurements, magnetic observations, an expansive oceanographic program, and the collection of many biological and geological samples, including the discovery of the first meteorite found in Antarctica. The expedition was the first to establish and maintain wireless contact between Antarctica and Australia. Its broad exploration program laid the groundwork for Australia's later territorial claims in Antarctica. (Full article...)
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