THE ANTARCTIC: Flowerless Summer

During the Northern Hemisphere's winter, a summer of a sort comes to the great white continent of Antarctica, bringing 24-hour-a-day sunshine and a brief, spongy softening of the coastal pack ice. That cold and flowerless southern summer is the season when dedicated men arrive by ship or plane to extend man's scanty knowledge—and tenuous possession—of the earth's most inhospitable region.

Last week two shipborne expeditions prowled among the antarctic icebergs. In the Amundsen Sea, east of Little America, the 6,500-ton U.S. Navy icebreaker Atka, with 250 men aboard, headed south, battering its way through pack ice in search of a...

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