On November 26th, explorers from the Moon-Regan Transantarctic Expedition team left Union Glacier, Antarctica. Their mission: to examine the impact of global climate change and to traverse Antarctica in a biofuel-powered vehicle faster than anyone else has done before. So far, their journey has been a success and, with the team's Lotus-designed Bio-Inspired Ice Vehicle (BIV) reaching the South Pole intact, the team is over half-way through the 3,600-mile jaunt.

The BIV, powered by an E85-burning turbo'd four-cylinder Rotax 914 engine that cranks out 100 horsepower and 106 pound feet of torque, is built to withstand the rigors of traversing Antarctica. So far, the BIV has suffered no major problems and has started without flaw even when temperatures have dipped well below -23 degrees Fahrenheit. The BIV's three-blade propeller, sub-1,600 pound weight and snowmobile-like runners allow it to skid across the icy tundra at speeds of up to 84 miles per hour. Even though the team's two Science Support Vehicles, which carry additional equipment and expedition members, continue to encounter mechanical problems, the biofuel-powered BIV keeps gliding on.

You can follow the progress of the Moon-Regan Transantarctic Expedition on their daily blog. Biofuel is cool and all, but how are they connecting to the Internet from down there?

[Source: TreeHugger]

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