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Science Facilities at Scott Base to Receive Major Investment

Science Facilities at Scott Base to Receive Major Investment

Antarctica New Zealand is to invest $3.4 million in a significant upgrade of the Scott Base Hilary Field Centre science facility.

The refurbishment will provide high-quality on-site science facilities that will extend the window for scientific analysis on the ice out to a full 12 months each year.

The Hilary Field Centre works form part of a three-year, $3.9 million project by Antarctica New Zealand to enhance facilities at Scott Base.

“One of our key objectives is to enhance the science that is able to be conducted in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean,” said Peter Beggs, Antarctica New Zealand chief executive.

“This project will add three new internal laboratories, mobile laboratories, additional capacity for specialised external laboratories and other facilities that will boost the capacity for effective science in Antarctica.

“This will enable scientists to complete critical analysis on site and throughout the year,” he said.

Currently, the majority of scientific samples are shipped or air freighted from Antarctica to New Zealand for full examination and research. This usually occurs at the end of the summer season and is dependent on timely shipping access to McMurdo Station.

“The expansion and reconfiguration of the Hillary Field Centre will significantly enhance specific science programme capabilities on the ice and stretch out the research window into the commencement of the winter freeze and winter itself,” said Beggs.

“To date, very little science has been able to be completed outside the summer season.”

The overall project will include a makeover of the administration area and changes to the facilities available for invited visitors.

The project work on the Scott Base enhancements is expected to commence next winter.

ENDS

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