May 18, 2017 02:13 PM EDT
NASA has ended the series of flight for its annual Arctic ice survey last week. This year, the federal space agency has expanded the range of the area covered by the survey.
This year's annual Arctic ice survey has finished 40 research flights within 10 weeks, according to NASA. The survey, codenamed Operation IceBridge ended its final flight on May 12 last week. The annual Arctic ice survey is an airborne mission to monitor ice changes at the Earth's pole, and this year's mission covered more range than previous operations.
The mission also included a rapid-response flight over Petermann Glacier, where a new crack was recently found. The Peterman Glacier is one of the largest and fastest-changing glaciers in Greenland, and the annual Arctic ice survey is able to monitor the crack, among other findings as well.
“This has easily been our best year ever for surveying sea ice," Scientist of the IceBridge Nathan Kurtz said regarding this year's annual Arctic ice survey. "We covered a wider area than ever before, and the new instruments we deployed during this campaign have given us denser and more accurate measurements.”
The mission of the annual Arctic ice survey has completed all its sea and land ice baseline flights. From the entire research flights, 13 of them are focused on surveying sea ice, while the remaining 26 flights targeted land ice. Each flight took eight hours on the air.
NASA has been analyzing and monitoring the Arctic for the past years. The annual Arctic ice survey has been conducted to see the changes of the ice and glaciers condition in the Earth's pole. Moreover, the number of ice collapsing into the sea has increased this year, as reported by the New York Times.
In one of the distinctive mission in the annual Arctic ice survey this year is the one called Zig Zag East. The flight took off in Svalbard, Norway and passing over hundreds of miles of sea ice en route to the North Pole. Watch the footage from onboard the NASA research plane during the Zig Zag East below: