Scientists given a leg up at new Antarctic centre

Halley VI Research Station Credit: British Antarctic Survey

Built on special hydraulic legs and designed to deal with whatever nature throws at it, Britain's new research station in the Antarctic officially opens today.

The state-of-the-art facility, which is already operational, is made up of eight sections which can be raised during heavy snow to prevent it being crushed.

It also stands on an ice shelf which is moving west by around 700m per year. To cope with that the station can be towed away and set up somewhere else.

Halley VI Research Station Credit: British Antarctic Survey

The new facility is being formally opened 100-years after Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic expeditions and replaces the 20-year-old 'Halley V' study centre.

It's the sixth to be built on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf and was delivered to the Antarctic by ship.

Halley VI's predecessor was demolished and removed amid fears the ice it was built on may brake off.

  • Halley VI is located 10-thousand miles from the United Kingdom

  • The project was completed over four Antarctic summers with each build season lasting nine weeks

  • The eight interlinking and fully inter-linkable modules house bedrooms, laboratories, offices and energy plants

Scientists at Halley VI will be examining ozone depletion, atmospheric conditions, sea-level rise and climate change at the £26 million site.