The Deconstruction of The Dome

Posted: Jan 14, 2010 08:47 pm EST

The Dome 1974 2009. The prominent feature at the destination of the South Pole skiers has been deconstructed during this 2009-10 South Pole season. A scientist at the AGAP project, Guy Tytgat, witnessed some of the stages of deconstruction.

Gamburtsev Mountains

During the second week of December Guy went through the South Pole to acclimatize to altitude and again on his way out to catch a Hercules back to McMurdo Station. Guy was working on a project higher up on the Plateau.

He explained to ExplorersWeb, I was working on project AGAP. It's a project to study the origin of the Gamburtsev Mountains, discovered by the Russians underneath the Antarctic Plateau in 1958.

We installed and maintain a network of seismic stations on the Plateau from a camp approx. 350 miles from South Pole. The camp is at about 12,000ft, but several of the stations are located at 14,000ft or above. We have a station near Dome A, and one at Dome Fuji.

Skylab down in 3 days

Guy continued, Between the time I came in (2nd week of Dec) and now, I got to see how much they removed of the Dome (see photos).

Last year they had already removed all of the inside, and they started to pull it apart this year. They took Skylab down in 3 days!

From what I understand, the top portion of the Dome (top 3 rings) are going to a Museum somewhere in California.

The crown of The Dome and two rows of the polygonal panels will be displayed in the Seabee museum in Port Hueneme, California. The Seebeas built The Dome.

Guy added, The rest, NSF keeps it a mystery. Everything is packed neatly in pallets (see photo).

The Dome was the second South Pole station. The first one was built by the U.S. Navy in the Antarctic summer of 1956-57 and was last occupied in 1975 during the transition to the iconic geodesic dome. The original station now lies buried and crushed by the enormous pressure exerted by the ice sheet of the Polar Plateau.
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Image by Guy Tytgat

All images of the deconstruction of The South Pole Dome courtesy of Guy Tytgat (click to enlarge)