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What Could Have Been

What Could Have Been

History is full of tales about boom towns that went bust. Such was the fate of Marble Point, a helicopter refueling station that as early as the 1960s was a serious contender for becoming the main research station in the U.S. Antarctic Program.

By default, that role had been assumed by McMurdo Station, which was established around December 1955 to support the International Geophysical Year (IGY), a global scientific campaign that focused on the polar regions.

McMurdo was not originally intended to be a major scientific base in its own right. It was to serve as the launching pad for planes that would fly to the South Pole to establish a research station there the following year.

Present-day McMurdo houses up to about a thousand people during the main Antarctic field season, from October to February, supporting upwards of a hundred research projects or more every year. More than 100 buildings now make up the McMurdo campus, which is often likened to a mining town, particularly when all the snow has melted and dust devils dance through its dusty streets in late summer.

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Source:: Antarctic Sun Featured Articles

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