He could have become an artist – and someone else would have founded physical oceanography. He could have become king of Norway, yet by constitution the king was supposed to be a Protestant, and Nansen was an atheist. He became what he became: a famous traveler, a scientist, a life savior. The main goal of Fridtjof Nansen's life was the journey to the Pole.
He himself invented and built the ship named Fram – not just a ship, but a real scientific instrument specially designed for swimming in ice and along with ice. The wide hull of the ship and its rounded sides made it look like an egg: such a ship will not be crushed by ice, but squeezed out.
In June 1893 Fram, which means “Forward" in Norwegian, sailed from the capital of Norway, Oslo. On board the ship were its creator, 13 crew members, as well as a supply of provisions for five years and fuel for eight years. Fram went to Siberia islands to freeze into the ice there and drift to North Pole, and from there to Greenland.
Fram has not reached the Pole. Nansen and his friend Johansen tried to reach it on foot, but at latitude of 86014' the path was blocked by open water. After spending a winter in Franz Josef Land, Nansen returned to his homeland. And yet Nansen's expedition cannot be called unsuccessful – no one went closer to the pole then his Norwegian. And not to mention the scientific research that was carried out on Fram.
Fridtjof Nansen confirmed his favorite phrase with his life: “The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer." In 1921, the Chairman of the Red Cross Committee to Aid the Starving in the Volga region came to Russia. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his invaluable help in saving thousands of lives in 1922.
Then Nansen set his hand to rescue refugees. Nansen passports were received by hundreds of thousands of refugees and people destitute of nationality. And these activities were awarded the Nobel Prize: in 1938, it was received by the Nansen International Office for Refugees in Geneva.