Antarctica is called “White Mars” because of the harsh conditions. In 2005, they built a French-Italian research station Concordia, which researches the European space Agency (ESA). At the same time at the station in isolation, extremely low temperatures and lack of light and oxygen I live and work about 60 people who have passed many months of preparation and work time here is 9-12 months. The station itself is cylindrical 2 buildings: one of them is called “quiet” because there are laboratories, living quarters and hospital, the second “noisy”: there are shops, gym, warehouses, canteen, cinema and a relaxation room.
AdMe.ru tells about the station “Concordia” and how people live there.
1. The average temperature in Antarctica is minus 50 degrees. The lowest is minus 80
Even in the summer in Antarctica is never above -30. There can not exist a normal bacteria, but just to go out, here have to wear several layers of warm clothes, special shoes, body gloves and glasses together is not easier than the astronaut suit.
Concordia is situated at altitude 3 300 m above sea level, so the air is thin, and therefore there is less oxygen. And he’s perfectly clean and absolutely odorless. Back on the mainland, the researchers describe their shock from the abundance and strength of the odors, even when simply walking down the street.
2. 4 months out of the year people live in the dark
In Antarctica there is no day or night in the traditional sense: in the winter the sun gets up over the horizon, and in summer sits below it. 4 months people spend in the dark. Because of this circadian rhythm gets off, and sometimes it’s hard to sleep or eat — it seems that you have lunch in the middle of the night. The first appearance of sunlight — it is a real holiday: all throw their case, climb onto the roof and watch for the first time in 4 months the sun rises.
3. The nearest supermarket is 4,000 miles
Concordia is located farther from civilization than the ISS, and getting there is not easy: bulky cargo brought by sleigh caravan (shipping takes 10-12 days), and small goods and products are delivered by small aircraft, designed specifically for extreme temperatures.
Despite the fact that the nearest supermarket is 4,000 miles from Concordia, it does not mean that researchers sit on bread and water: here eat meat, fish, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and members of multinational teams prepare their traditional dishes, like frog legs or the soup. Many products are stored frozen, and eggs, for example, is rubbed with paraffin.
Alex Ekaykin, scientist (scientist who studies the properties of ice) from Russia, shares his impressions from staying at the station: “the level of supply, says such a fact: just today at internal electronic newsletter to all the residents of the station received a letter saying that the “Concordia” ran out of stock of fresh milk and before the arrival of the new party will have to, alas, costs powder. In the centre of Antarctica ran out of fresh milk, that’s the trouble!”
4. In winter the station is completely cut off from the world
In winter, out of “Concordia” is impossible: any message with a Large land there and if there will be something unforeseen, will have to rely only on themselves. Therefore, there is a well equipped hospital, and a significant part of the station set aside for storage of food. The products are also stored in the vaults near the station.
Usually the winter are about 15 people, so many here are 2 specialty — for example, a plumber may assist in the operating room, and chef at the same time and fire.
5. The Concordia study how the harsh conditions affect people. It is necessary for future flights into space
A feeling of total isolation leads to stress and psychological difficulties — from distraction to depression, but they are the subject of the study: scientists believe that this knowledge will also help to prepare people for long space flights to improve the aircraft and to consider, what will be the first station on the moon and Mars. All team members are video diaries and always wear a special watch which records the time of sleep and wakefulness and track who, how and where to spend time, with whom. Then the information is analyzed to track changes in people’s behavior.
In addition, at the station there are about 20 research projects: there are seismologists, astronomers, meteorologists, climatologists, physicists and glaciologists.
6. The station can not only work, but fun
Employees of the station like an interesting hobby: researchers conduct tours of their laboratories and tell others about their work, play basketball in the snow, love discos and fancy dress parties. Sometimes a video answers questions of pupils and students, and on Christmas can easily make a Skype call the President of Italy.
Many people are trying to communicate with foreign colleagues to improve the language, because here is a truly multinational team: the Swedes, the French, the Italians, the British and the Russians.
7. The Concordia is not allowed to pee in the shower
The water at Concordia is made from snow. In order to melt, you need a lot of fuel, so the water save: after use in the sinks and showers, water is purified and fed back again. For this reason, the soap and the shower gel can not be used here is given the special tool 3 in 1, compatible with the treatment system. Also in the shower it is impossible to write, as the system cannot cope with the processing of such waste products. If the inspectors find in the water the high content of ammonia, at a General meeting must be notified about it and asked not to do that.
A small video tour of “Concord” can be viewed here.
And would you dare to go to Antarctica?