Caroline Mikkelson became the first woman to visit Antarctica.
In 1947, twelve years after Mikkelson's visit, two women whose husbands were part of a scientific expedition spent a year in Antarctica. In the 1950's Soviet scientist Marie V. Klenova charted the coastline to create the first Antarctic atlas. No other women made it to Antarctica until 1970, largely due to a U.S. Navy ban on transporting women to the continent. The National Science Foundation also refused to fund Antarctic research by women; they would have to send male colleagues to collect the samples needed for their work. These restrictions finally were lifted in 1969.
Currently about one-third of the scientists and support crew at the American base in Antarctica are women. Though still in the minority, women continue to make Antarctic history. Last year, 77 years after Mikkelsen set foot on the continent, Felicity Aston, a 34-year-old British adventurer, became the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone -- 1,084 miles (1,744 km) in 59 days, hauling two sleds over mountainous terrain.