Antarctic Living: A Space House for an Icy Land

A new research station at the bottom of the world may give future Antarctica researchers some special treats, like the ability to live above ground and look out a window. German scientists are adapting a habitat designed by the European Space Agency (ESA) to replace the shifting, disappearing and aging Neumayer II Research Station, a pair of metal tubes buried amongst the snow of the Ekstrom Ice Shelf in Antarctica’s Atka Bay. The Antarctic version of ESA’s space house is only the beginning, especially for an agency with loftier goals. “We dream to go to Mars,” SpaceHouse designer Fritz Gampe said. “To do that we need very lightweight housing.” It might be inflatable or use rocket cylinders or the present shell-shaped structure.