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Antarctic Research Stations That Walk


Scientists have always had it tough while performing research in the Antarctic region owing to extreme climatic conditions, limited supplies and geographic isolation. Now they have to overcome a new obstacle: moving ice.

In Antarctica, the ice moves towards the sear at the rate of quarter a kilometer very year. This means that structures could take an ugly beating at the hands of the elements. To counter this, architects have designed a new type of research station that has extendable legs on giant skis and can move on ice.

The Halley VI Antarctic research station consists of eight modules with individual legs that are interconnected so that they can move in unison. The mobile facility was established by the British Antarctic Survey or BAS, and is set to open today, housing over 50 scientists.

According to BAS, the brand new research station will replaces the 20-year old Halley V facility and is the sixth to be built on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf. The first station, established in 1957 for a Royal Society expedition, established the region as an important natural laboratory for studying the Earth's magnetic field and the near-space atmosphere. It was data from Halley that led to the 1985 BAS discovery of the ozone hole.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Science & Technology

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