A Qantas 747 charter flies over Antarctica a century after Douglas Mawson and his Australasian Antarctic Expedition mapped it.

An team of Australian medical specialists was sent to Antarctica today on a rescue mission, but there are few details about who they are saving, Agence France-Presse reported. The US National Science Foundation had requested help rescuing an expeditioner from the United States' McMurdo Station base who is having an emergency. 

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The Australian team will have to stop first in New Zealand and wait for the weather to clear up. It's currently winter in Antarctica, and the season is so harsh that flights to the continent are usually only made during the summer, the Associated Press reported.

Temperatures in Antarctica on Wednesday were 9 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, CNN reported. But researchers brave the cold year-round on the continent to conduct studies in astrophysics, glaciology and other science fields. 

Approximately 30 nations have permanent research stations in Antarctica, the AFP said. 

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