NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory takes off in Punta Arenas, Chile, during NASA’s AirSAR 2004 campaign. Now, the same aircraft will make flights from Punta Arenas to Antarctica as part of the Operation Ice Bridge campaign. Credit: NASA/Jim Ross
Located on the Brunswick Peninsula north of the Strait of Magellan. Also Punta Arenas was originally established by the Chilean government in 1848 as a tiny penal colony to assert sovereignty over the Strait. During the remainder of the 1800s. Therefore Punta Arenas grew in size and importance due to the increasing maritime traffic and trade traveling to the west coasts of South and North America. This period of growth also resulted from the waves of European immigrants. And mainly from Croatia and Russia attracted to the gold rush and sheep farming boom in the 1880s and early 1900s. The largest sheep company, controlling 10,000 square kilometres in Chile and Argentina, was based in Punta Arenas, and its owners lived there.