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The Shackleton legacy: A walk through history

The legacy of Shackleton lives on a century after his Endurance mission ended. "

Brave men have given their lives in their attempts to conquer the cold, yet few people stand out like Sir Ernest Shackleton. Despite never attaining his life-long dream of reaching the South Pole, the Shackleton Foundation describes the adventurer as one of the 20th century's most outstanding leaders. 

A century after the completion of the famous Endurance mission, let's look back at the gruelling yet exciting happenings of Shackleton's advances in the Antarctic. 

Shackleton is remembered for his leadership in the Antarctic.Shackleton is remembered for his leadership in the Antarctic.

Through the ice they went

The challenge to conquer the deep south began in 1901, when Shackleton was chosen by Robert Falcon Scott to join the RRS Discovery. When they arrived at the continent itself, marching nearly 40 kilometres a day saw the crew get closer to the pole than any human before. However, they had to return to their ship due to the harsh terrain and maladies like scurvy setting in.

Restless after his first encounter with true adventure, Shackleton returned to the Antarctic in 1908 leading his own crew on the Nimrod. Again, though, they did not reach their goal, this time due to an almost fatal accident that left one team member injured and destroyed part of their rations.

"Better a live donkey than a dead lion." - Sir Ernest Shackleton

It was not all doom and gloom, however, as the expedition was the first to reach the magnetic South Pole as well as discover Beardmore Glacier passage, among other achievements. Disregarding the setbacks, Shackleton, who was knighted upon returning to the United Kingdom, is said to have remarked he was "better a live donkey than a dead lion."

The most famous endeavour of Shackleton's was his cross-continent trek dubbed the Endurance mission. Aboard a ship of the same name, Shackleton's crew became trapped in ice for 10 months before melting ice destroyed its hull. Antarctica Online reports that the situation became so dire that Shackleton travelled across 1,300 kilometres of some of the world's most dangerous waters in a tiny boat to find help in South Georgia. Miraculously the leader rescued his entire crew safely after 105 days of being stranded.

Against all odds, he set out to one last expedition in 1921, during which the seasoned adventurer died. A century after his courageous efforts, it seems fitting that Shackleton's leadership remains remembered.

Interconnect Systems has a comprehensive background in aerospace and defence engineering, being an industry leader for more than 20 years. It provides electrical interconnect products and solutions, including cable and wire harness manufacture. For more information on the best backshells and cable harness solutions, contact Interconnect Systems today on 1800 812 214 FREE.

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