SPole – Dome/old station retro

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    Baghdad Jim

    What is the driving reason for the tear down and retro of the dome and assorted facilities?

    Seems to me that those could be used as emergency facilities—or bring in backup generators all set up and wired to the ring–just put a switchgear on them and say buh-bye to power losses.

    I mean…c’mon, its the Dome..that cool ass dome thats been in movies all over. Even the new-ish Stargate Atlantis series pilot. The dome that people had to dig their way out of.

    It took some serious jack setting it all like that—if nothing else, make it a house of debauchery. Put insulated cells in there and make a ton of growing areas….something.

    Just seems a shame to get rid of it. Is the tunnel from the beer can to it going to be closed off?


    Briefly, the old buildings inside the dome are worn out and obsolete, and the dome is structurally “tired.” The older buildings are ATCO modules built in the early 70s, with 2×4 stud walls and tiny rooms, as compared to the new buildings which typically have 12″ or more of foam in the walls.

    During the late 1980’s I was involved with the initial planning for the new station. At that time the Dome was to be reused…there were various plans for it, including jacking it up, building a “twin” new one next to the old one, etc. These plans eventually changed after it was discovered that some of the dome foundation beams had broken in 1988 because of the heavy snow piled up on the downwind side. The structure was repaired, but…

    Another problem (and I don’t want to alienate any Buckminster Fuller fans 🙂 is that domes with their curved walls are difficult spaces to use architecturally. Domes work well for things like radomes and tank roofs, but how many of them do you see in your neighborhood (in Baghdad or Brooklyn)?

    Kim Stanley Robinson’s fiction book “Antarctica” written in the late 1990’s describes a future South Pole where the dome is abandoned, in danger of collapse, and officially off limits. (The book also describes tractor traverses to Pole, effects of global warming, and various other realities and unrealities…anyone thinking of working in Antarctica ought to give it a read.)

    Baghdad Jim

    cool beans, so I guess its cheaper to remove it all from the ice than to reinforce and reinsulate?

    how many ice corridores are under it anyway?


    I agree the Dome is definetly what I think of when I think of this place, it is said to see it go. Just in the past few months half the buildings have been removed. And the ones still inside are stripped and heat and power have been turned off.

    As the galley materials person, I spend everyday down there, since it is our food storage building. But the buildings are old and are not the best setup anymore, and we already have other emergency buildings to haul up in.

    Dan @ the south pole.

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