New Antarctic research station can ski

halley vi

I bet the rebels living on Hoth would have loved this little home-away-from-home.

The sixth Halley research station to be brought to Antarctica, called Halley VI, opened today, welcoming in its new resident scientists and workers from the British Antarctic Survey. The building looks more like a strange snow train than a research center, but its mobility is meant to play a very important role. Stationary facilities of old often got mired in as much as three feet of shifting ice, but the Halley VI has legs specifically intended to get out of those situations. The hydraulic legs can climb out of ice and snow, then ski across the surface of Antarctica to more hospitable areas.

Each of the blue pods are a living room or research room, while the red pod is a communal space for researchers to eat meals and socialize. Designed by architecture firm Hugh Broughton Architects, the $40.6 million dollar facility has some other creature comforts for the researchers, including an alarm clock that mimics the sunrise. After all, it’s one thing to be away from temperatures above freezing, but I imagine several weeks of sunshine or darkness can really start to wear on you.

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