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The Military Science

Farewell To the South Pole Dome 77

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-wanna-live-in-a-dome dept.
Julie188 writes "After more than three decades of service to researchers and staff stationed at the bottom of the world, the dome at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was deconstructed this austral summer. Designed and constructed by the Seabees — the construction battalions of the US Navy — in the early 1970s, the dome's geodesic design provided a unique solution to the challenges posed to engineers trying to build structures at the South Pole. The dome is being returned to southern California where it will be held in storage. It could possibly be trotted out as an exhibit in a new US Navy Seabees museum."
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Farewell To the South Pole Dome

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  • Bad idea. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:50PM (#31427688) Homepage Journal

    Great, how do they know that in the past 28 years The Thing hasn't managed to figure out how to assimilate non-living matter and is now the dome? Just sitting there, waiting in the cold.
    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    How's that for tying two classics together?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh wait, wrong 1970s scientific research group.

  • by GiveBenADollar (1722738) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:55PM (#31427766)
    Guess they are also getting rid of the F-302s at McMurdo. Homeworld security must not be important to the current administration.
    • by jpedlow (1154099)
      They're reinvesting the money into Cheyenne mountain. Dont sweat it ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So the chair is no longer there.

  • by Critical Facilities (850111) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:00PM (#31427840) Homepage
    For anyone interested here [nsf.gov] is the link on the NSF page showing the old site and the new facility. Pretty cool (pardon the pun).
  • by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:09PM (#31427940)

    I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    "Dismantled" would be a better choice.

    Of course I may be wrong. Perhaps the Seabees really have been standing around considering the the dome's true meaning and searching for inconsistencies in its design.

    • by grahamsz (150076) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:13PM (#31427990) Homepage Journal

      Was it mantled in the 70s?

    • Yes, you may be wrong.

      Deconstruct:
      tr.v. deconstructed, deconstructing, deconstructs

            1. To break down into components; dismantle.

    • Re:Better? (Score:2, Informative)

      "Dismantled" would be a better choice.

      I think "Superior" would be a superior choice.

      It's not hard to suggest Synonyms and sound pompous.

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      Why are they removing it? It seems odd that they would remove one of the few structures on the continent.

      • Re:Deconstructed? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @02:14PM (#31428706)
        They have a large, new building and don't need this one. It's too small and requires a lot of maintenance. The international treaty governing Antarctica requires that unused buildings be removed and the site returned to as close to the original state as possible. No danger of it turning into a penguin slum this far from the coast, but if the Shoggoths move in, it will really mess up the neighborhood.
      • From the fine article:

        The dome could no longer accommodate the demands of research activities taking place there, however, and each year the structure sunk deeper into the ice it was built on. Blowing snow that collected on top of it had to be removed and hauled away, burning up precious fuel and crew time during the short austral summer. The international treaty that governs human activities in Antarctica requires that buildings and equipment no longer in use be removed and the site remediated whenever possible, necessitating the dome's deconstruction and removal.

        I can understand the last two points (snow covering it, and no littering in Antarctica), but did the structure stay there for 30 years and only now the sinking into the snow becomes a problem? Given the panels are so light, they could have dis- and reassembled them when needed. Maybe made up to soften the accountants sharp pencil of "too expensive!"

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SydShamino (547793)

          Snow covering it is sinking into the snow. Same effect. Snow covers it each year but never melts. The next year, more snow covers it.

          Meanwhile, the entire glacier is slowly squirting out at all sides towards the sea. The net effect is a glacier that's not necessarily getting any thicker, but items sitting on top of it effectively "sink" in the additional snowfall as any given layer moves down and out to the sea.

          The new station can be jacked up on hydraulics up to two stories "higher" than its current po

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      >Perhaps the Seabees really have been standing around considering the the dome's true meaning and searching for inconsistencies in its design.

      No, no. Its not the design, man, its like the "idea" that "man" can "own" property and "things" in the south pole.

      *hits bong*

      Yeah.... its like the penguins are the indians and we are General Custer.

      *hits bong*

      Err...what were we talking about? Custard? Yeah, I'd like some custard.

    • A good replacement term for "deconstructed" would be "destroyed", as in "suffered destruction".

      Muahahaha!!

  • nopics with noscript (Score:5, Informative)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:31PM (#31428198) Homepage
    It would be awfully nice if submitters would include links to sites with pictures where you don't have enable 50 scripts just to see a jpeg. For example, linking to wikipedia is a no brainer that would save a million keystrokes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amundsen-Scott_South_Pole_Station [wikipedia.org]
  • I live down the street, and the new building is much nicer. Parking is a pain, though.
    • The new building is quite nice.

      To be more accurate, though, underground (well, under-ice) parking is convenient next door in the Logistics and Maintenance Arches, it's just that it's a pain going up and down all those stairs to get from the subsurface arch to the elevated station.

      The safety devices on the elevator don't work in those temperatures, so it can be used for supplies but not for people.

      And here you thought you'd run off a one-liner and be done. Hah!

  • And Here is Why (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lifyre (960576) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @02:20PM (#31428810)

    Because TFS couldn't be bothered to give a hint as to why I will...

    "The dome could no longer accommodate the demands of research activities taking place there, however, and each year the structure sunk deeper into the ice it was built on. Blowing snow that collected on top of it had to be removed and hauled away, burning up precious fuel and crew time during the short austral summer. The international treaty that governs human activities in Antarctica requires that buildings and equipment no longer in use be removed and the site remediated whenever possible, necessitating the dome's deconstruction and removal."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by R3d M3rcury (871886)

      [...] each year the structure sunk deeper into the ice it was built on.

      Everyone said I was daft to build a dome on an ice sheet, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the ice. So I dismantled that one and built another. That sank into the ice. So I dismantled that one and built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the ice. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest dome in all of Antarctica!

      (Sorry. It just came to me...)

      • I thought the third one was taken back in time to serve as a base in an ancient war, and that the fourth was destroyed, with only the fifth (and last) being put to use.

  • and soon no Dome either.

    No Ruby (or Silver) Slippers required.

  • Not as big, but quite good looking: Belgian - Princess Elisabeth station [antarcticstation.org]
  • South Pole Crew (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArtificialPulse (1462259) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @05:26PM (#31431200)
    I'm one of the 47 down here for the 2010 Winter season, the crew is missing the Dome. It was an icon in Antarctica, and this place feels like it's missing something without it. Someone pointed earlier to Spindler's website http://www.southpolesation.com/ [southpolestation.com] where there is much more on the deconstruction from the unofficial South Pole historian. -- http://www.artificialpulse.com/ [artificialpulse.com]
  • Geodesic dome design died out around the same time hippie communes did. They were looking for a new building that didn't scream "Hey man, check out my groovy new bell-bottoms!"
  • What's with calling it "the bottom of the world"? In space there is no "up".

    Arrogant Southist assholes. Allow me to refer you to a more correct map of the planet [flourish.org] (though I'd still prefer to see an equal-area projection used instead of Mercator's abomination.)

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