First off, thanks for reaching out! While this is definitely one of the trickier questions in this passage, I don’t think you actually have to take too many leaps or make too many assumptions to get to the right answer. The most basic thing you do need to do here is to draw the distinction between the Arctic and the Antarctic. The passage does give us context on the population/history of Antarctica (“less than a decade after the first humans set foot on the continent”), so we can conclude that there weren’t any indigenous folks living there. Indeed, that no one lives there makes the environment a perfect one for an “ultimate test” of survival strategies.This is a bit of a reach, many assumptions would need to be made to get to the right answer which is counter intuitive to the previous questions not making assumptions
It’s also possible (and perhaps even preferable!) to answer this question by using the process of elimination. Off the bat, A is definitely wrong because western technologies are mentioned. B is wrong because it is not unique to Antarctica. The consequences of failure in the arctic were equally severe. D, while likely true, does not address the issue posed in the question stem.