Over 1 billion rubles (some $13.6 mn) is allocated for putting into operation the new modular complex for Russia’s Antarctic polar station Vostok according to the governmental decree signed recently by RF Premier Mikhail Mishustin.
The money will be used to finance the delivery of the modular complex to the Antarctic and the start of assembly. Improving the technical infrastructure and modernization of the Russian polar stations is part of the country’s Antarctic activities development strategy.
The complex consists of 133 modules including living quarters, scientific laboratories, and garages. The entire structure is 140 m long and has a space of over 1,900 square meters. The complex can accommodate 35 period during the season and 15 people during the wintering (in the Antarctic, summering) period.
The stations will be mounted on 3-meter high supports, which means it is not going to be covered with snow for many years.
The new modular complex for Vostok was built in August 2020, but delivery had to be postponed due to the breakdown of the vessel that was to have transported it from St. Petersburg to the Antarctic.
The complex is planned to be put into operation in 2024. Assembly can be carried out during just several weeks during the year when the temperature in the area gets warm enough (warm enough actually means minus 35 Celsius).
Vostok was established back in 1957 and now is the only Russian intra-continental station in the Antarctic. It needs modernization badly as the old buildings are both delapidated and covered by snow 3-5 meters thick.