By the summer of 2013,Korea will have entered the exclusive group of countries with two or more stations in Antarctica. Last week, the 33 Consultative Members of the Antarctic Treaty have unanimously approved the environmental evaluation for the new Korean research station.
Jang Bogo station will be a modern, environmentally friendly facility with capacity to accommodate 60 people in a total surface of 4.458 m2.
Its construction will be conducted in different stages between December 2012 and March 2014 with an investment of 107 billion dollars for the whole project. Basic structures are been built inKorea and will be shipped to Antarctica to be assembled.
For the past years, several Korean expeditions have visited 10 candidate spots in the continent, finally choosing Terra Nova Bay as the best site for the station because of it’s accessibility, scientific interest and the possibility of International collaboration.
The stations scientific program will focus on climate change over the Pacific Ocean Side of Antarctica. The winter-over research program is expected to contribute to understand the rapid climate change in the region with long term monitoring of glaciers, sediments, oceans and ecosystems.
The station will be located close to the Italian Mario Zuchelli Research Station in an area near the United States McMurdo and New Zealand’s Scott stations,1700 kmaway from the South Pole.
The station has been planned under a zero waste discharge concept for both its construction and operation and will maximize the use of alternative energies including wind and solar power.
The project had been announced in 2006 by the Korean Government in order to enhance its scientific capabilities and promote international collaboration for the development of Antarctic sciences.
The name for the second Korean station in Antarctica was selected from 2410 ideas suggested in public proposals during 2010. Jang Bogo, a famous Korean captain of the seas, pioneered a maritime route of the Yellow Sea protecting traders from Korea, China and Japan.