The newly unveiled Halley VI research station in Antarctica has a new feature--it's mobile and can move from place to place, the British Antarctic Survey said this week. (Photo : YouTube)
The latest research station in the Antarctic region is a lot different from other stations of its kind in the past-for starters, it can move.
The British Antarctic Survey unveiled Wednesday the Halley VI Research Station, which has the ability to move and slide across the glacial sheets that cover one of the coldest areas on Earth.
The problem that most of the other stations had is that they were unable to cope with the weight of the snow at the polar ice cap and were subsequently crushed.
That will not be a problem with Halley VI, which costs $40 million and weighs 26 million pounds, Paul Seagrove, a spokesman from the Briths Antarctic Survey, told Fox News. This station is able to move thanks to four-legged modules linked by enclosed walkways.
In addition, heat is encased within the station thanks to triple-glazed windows while ski-clad stilts keep the units at least four meters above the ice. When it needs to be moved, the skis allow the station to be towed by a large tractor.
Named after British astronomer Edmond Halley, Halley VI is the sixth base to be built at the site since 1956. Work from scientists at the previous Halley sites led to the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica in 1985.
The importance of a mobile base is emphasized when one thinks about the movement of the ice in Antarctica, which moves towards the water at a rate of a quarter kilometer each year, which can give the bases there severe damage.
Survey officials told RTT News that this new station will replace the Halley V facility, which is 20 years old.