Each winter around this time, a hardy Coast Guard icebreaker makes a pilgrimage south of the Equator, where summer is underway and huge ice floes are more accessible than in winter. The Polar Star makes her way to McMurdo Station, a U.S. outpost in Antarctica. She smashes a channel in the ice so supply ships can get in to bring provisions to the people living there and conducting research. She’s an older ship, but among the most hardy in the world. Today we celebrate the Polar Star, her crew, and their unusual mission.