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New South Pole Station Self-Elevates with Hydraulics

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A new scientific research station opened its doors last week in Amundsen-Scott, the southern-most inhabitable spot on our planet. It belongs to the US, and took 20 years and $174 million to design and build. Its creators are hoping it will last, this time—its previous incarnations were eventually buried by snow and fated for demolition. Here are some of the rad features of this building.

  • It sits on 36 steel columns that keep it off the icy ground.
  • The aerodynamic exterior blows gale-force winds under the station, not right at it, and pushing accumulating snow to the backside of the building instead of letting it accumulate underneath.
  • When the snow does eventually make its way up to the building (which it will, because Antarctica is brutal like that), hydraulic jacks will raise the building up even further.
  • Top US researchers in the fields of neutrino astronomy, cosmology, seismology, and atmospheric physics are going to be hanging out here, discovering cool stuff.
  • It houses a full-court gym, a music room, a library, a pool table, a wet bar, a hydroponic greenhouse, and private rooms with Internet.

Image by Robert Schwartz for USAP

Snow place like home [The Economist]