−80 ° and you can't write in your soul: 7 facts about how people live in Antarctica
Antarctica is called White Mars due to its harsh conditions. In 2005, the French-Italian scientific station "Concordia" was built there, where the European Space Agency (ESA) conducts its research. At the same time, about 60 people live and work at the station under conditions of isolation, extremely low temperatures and a lack of light and oxygen, who have undergone many months of training, and the term of work here is 9–12 months. Writes about it AdMe.ru.
The station itself consists of 2 cylindrical buildings: one of them is called "quiet", because there are laboratories, living quarters and a hospital, the second is "noisy", because it houses workshops, a gym, warehouses, a canteen, a cinema and a recreation room.
1. The average temperature in Antarctica is -50 degrees, the lowest is 80 degrees below zero
Even in summer in Antarctica it never gets above -30. Many ordinary bacteria cannot exist here, and just to go outside, you have to put on several layers of warm clothes, special shoes, voluminous mittens and glasses - all together this is no easier than an astronaut's suit.
Concordia is located at an altitude of 3 meters above sea level, so the air is thinner, which means there is less oxygen in it. It is also perfectly clean and absolutely odorless. Returning to the mainland, the researchers describe their shock from the abundance and power of smells, even just walking down the street.
2 months of the year people live in darkness
In Antarctica, there is no day or night in the traditional sense: in winter, the sun does not rise over the horizon here, and in summer it does not set below it. People spend 4 months in the dark. Because of this, the daily rhythm is lost, sometimes it is difficult to fall asleep or eat - it seems that you are having lunch in the middle of the night. The first appearance of the sun's rays here is a real holiday: everyone leaves their business, climbs onto the roof and watches the sun rise for the first time in 4 months.
3. The nearest supermarket - 4 km
Concordia is located farther from civilization than the ISS, and it is not easy to get there: bulky cargo is brought in by a sled caravan (delivery takes 10-12 days), and small cargo and food is delivered by small planes designed specifically for extreme temperatures.
Although the nearest supermarket is 4 km from Concordia, this does not mean that the researchers are sitting on bread and water: they eat meat, fish, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and members of the multinational team prepare their traditional dishes - frog legs or borscht. Many foods are stored frozen, and eggs, for example, are stored with paraffin wax.
Alexey Yekaykin, a glaciologist (a scientist who studies the properties of ice) from Russia, shares his impressions of his stay at the station: “The following fact speaks about the level of supply: literally today, by internal e-mail, all residents of the station received a letter stating that the Concordia the supply of fresh milk has run out and before the arrival of a new batch it will be necessary, alas, to do with powdered milk. Fresh milk has run out in the center of Antarctica, that's the problem! "
4. In winter, the station is completely cut off from the world
It is impossible to get out of the Concordia in winter: there is no communication with the mainland, and if something unexpected happens, you will have to rely only on yourself. Therefore, there is a well-equipped hospital, and a significant part of the station is reserved for warehouses with food. Products are stored in storerooms near the station.
Usually about 15 people stay for the winter, so many here have 2 specialties - for example, a plumber can assist in the operating room, and the chef can be a firefighter at the same time.
5. Concordia is studying how harsh conditions affect people. It is needed for future space flights.
The feeling of complete isolation leads to stress and various psychological difficulties - from absent-mindedness to depression, but they are also a subject of study: scientists believe that this knowledge will also help prepare people for long space flights, improve flying vehicles and think about what the first stations on the moon will be. and Mars. All team members keep video diaries and constantly wear special watches that record the time of sleep and wakefulness, as well as keep track of who spends how much time and where, with whom they communicate. The information is then analyzed to track changes in people's behavior.
In addition, about 20 scientific projects are being carried out at the station: seismologists, astronomers, meteorologists, climatologists, physicists and glaciologists work here.
6. At the station they know how not only to work, but also to have fun
The station's employees love interesting leisure: researchers take tours of their laboratories and tell others about their work, play basketball in the snow, and enjoy discos and costume parties. Sometimes the video link team answers the questions of schoolchildren and students, and at Christmas the President of Italy can easily call them on Skype.
Many try to communicate with foreign colleagues in order to improve their language, because there is a truly multinational team here: Swedes, French, Italians, British and Russians.
7. On Concordia it is forbidden to write in the shower
Concordia makes water from snow. To melt it, you need a lot of fuel, so water is saved: after being used in washbasins and showers, the water is purified and fed back. For this reason, you cannot use your own soap and shower gel: here everyone is given a special 3 in 1 product that is compatible with the cleaning system. Also, you cannot write in the shower, since the system cannot cope with the processing of such waste products. If the inspectors find an increased ammonia content in the water, they must inform about it at the general meeting and ask them not to do it again.
A short video tour of the Concordia can be viewed here.
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