14 January 2017 A Tour of the South Pole Station & Ice Cube Lab

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station Tour

Ever wonder what the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station looks like? Come along as I take you for a 20-minute walking tour of the galley, the greenhouse, the gym, and so much more!

Special thanks to Ming for helping me film this tour for you!

One room that didn’t make it into the video (altitude-brain got the best of me) is the Game Room. This room has lots of books, every kind of game you could think of, and a foosball table. This room also sits in the emergency survival pod. If an emergency occurred that resulted in people at the South Pole needing to survive for a prolonged period of time, they would go here. There are back up generators just for this pod as well as emergency equipment to ensure they would be safe until help arrived (however long that might take).

Ice Cube Lab Tour

Next up is the Ice Cube Lab (ICL). I’ll take you on a 7-minute tour from the cargo room, to the rows of computer servers, ending on the roof.

Uploading

I hope you enjoyed the videos above. Internet at the South Pole relies on one of three satellites – DCSC, SKYNET, and SPTR2. These satellites are only up specific times, and those times change throughout the year.

internetA picture of when the satellites will be up so I know when the internet will be available.

Even when a satellite is up, that doesn’t ensure good connectivity. To upload the two videos above, I had to export them with the lowest quality possible (sorry!). Even then it took me four nights, one of which I woke up at 1:30am to catch a satellite, to upload them to youtube. That’s life at the Pole for you!

Comment Below

Now I’ve only been at the South Pole Station for a few days now, so I’m still learning. If you have a question about any of the rooms shown in either of the tours, please post it in the comments below and I’ll get back to you!

Comments

Stacy Brasfield
Guest's picture
Nice tour!

Hi Kate,
It is so nice to get a glimpse of the South Pole Station! Thanks! I'm glad it isn't all work and no play. Seeing this station makes me think that we have already learned a good bit on how to set up a livable environment in a remote location, and maybe we will have one like this on Mars! Do you have any thoughts on that?

Wow... great stuff, Kate?

Wow... great stuff, Kate! Keep it coming.

Thanks, right back at ya!

Thanks, Ric. And right back at ya! I love reading about McMurdo because I was only there for a very short, very tiring day :)

Hi Stacy! Thanks for

Hi Stacy! Thanks for following!

We really have learned an incredible amount about living in remote locations. And Antarctica is truly other-worldy. It's so surreal here and so different from 'home'! I did hear that NASA has (is?) using Antarctica as staging for a mission to Mars. I'm not sure the exact same station design could be used there, but it is very interesting to think about what aspect might be transferable, right down to what a human needs to mentally survive prolonged periods of being alone!

I concur

I concur with what other readers have said: your journals are first class.

And the videos clips are simply amazing. I absolutely enjoyed them.

Thanks!

Thanks so much, Armando! Glad you're enjoying them!

Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory 2016

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Location: South Pole
Temperature: -16.4F
Wind Chill: -38.1F
Wind Speed: 10.4 knots

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