Documetary about the Antarctic Snow Cruiser

If you're a fan of Kharkovchanka, the giant snow cruisers made by the Soviet Union, then you'll enjoy this mini-documentary about an American counterpart, the Antarctic Snow Cruiser. It was seventeen meters long, six meters wide, weighed more than 34,000 kg, and had smooth tires—a decision that that doomed it to failure.

The Antarctic Snow Cruiser would have a special role to play. Its main objective would be to reach the South Pole (only two prior expeditions had ever set foot on the South Pole prior to 1939). During its months-long trek, the Snow Cruiser and it's aircraft would make surveys along its course, and in just a few months the Americans were expecting to explore more of Antarctica than all previous expeditions combined. The ambitious effort would help the Americans establish their own territorial claim on the continent. But in the race to leave for Antarctica by the fall of 1939, the Snow Cruiser would have to be constructed in just 11 weeks, an incredibly short amount of time for such an ambitious, first of its kind machine. Soon, it would become abundantly clear that the Cruiser had been over-designed and under-tested, with extreme optimism seemingly guiding it's design.

It was abandoned, recovered in the 1960s, then once again lost to the snow and ice and finally to the cold wet void below.