The New Amundson-Scott South Pole Research Station

The New Amundson-Scott South Pole Research Station
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The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) website has an excellent multimedia report on the new, $153 million Amundson-Scott South Pole Station for scientific research that is scheduled to be completed in January 2007. There are a number of amazing technological features of the new station. As noted on the website, the station will be "a radical departure from the first man-made structure erected at the Earth's southernmost point: the forlorn pyramidal tent erected by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen almost a century ago to mark the advent of human habitation at the Pole." To withstand a shifting foundation of snow and ice, the station sits on 36 12-foot-tall columns that can extend an additional two stories to keep the station level and above future snow and ice build up. To the delight of visitors, the new station also has windows, which were missing in the prior station designs. Parts for the new facility had to be flown in by a Hercules cargo plane, and it is so cold that the planes cannot shut down their engines or even land in the winter season. The new station is the third research station to be built by the NSF since 1956. Scientists at the Amundsen-Scott station will study climate change, air and ozone, solid earth geophysics, extreme biological systems, and will also conduct tests of technology intended for the study of Martian polar caps and other planets. Antarctic research at the station is coordinated by the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is funded by NSF. Go here for a video tour of the living and working conditions at the South Pole station.
Submitted by elementlist on Sep 13, 2006
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