In 1992 the inside of the volcano was explored by Dante I, an eight legged tethered robotic explorer. Dante was designed to acquire gas samples from the magma lake inside the inner crater of Mount Erebus in order to better understand the chemistry through the use of the on-board gas chromatograph as well as measuring the temperature inside the volcano and the radioactivity of the materials present in such volcanoes. Dante successfully scaled a significant portion of the crater before technical difficulties emerged with the fibre-optic cable used for communications between the walker and base station. Unfortunately, Dante I had not reached the bottom of the crater and as such the mission was cancelled with no data of volcanic significance recorded. However, the expedition proved to be highly successful in terms of robotic and computer science, and was possibly the first ever expedition by a robotic platform to Antarctica.
Air New Zealand Flight 901 was a scheduled sightseeing service from Auckland Airport in New Zealand to Antarctica and return, without an intermediate stop. The Air New Zealand flyover service, for the purposes of Antarctic sightseeing, was operated with McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 aircraft and began in February 1977. The flight crashed into Mount Erebus in sector whiteout conditions on November 28, 1979, killing all 257 people aboard. Air New Zealand discontinued the service after the crash.
During the Antarctic summer, snow melt on the flanks of Mount Erebus continually brings debris from the crash to the surface of the snow; it is plainly visible from the air.