The U.S. is building a new research station at the South Pole to replace an old domed facility that was built back in 1975.
The older building was too small for all the scientists and support people that are needed at the South Pole, and it was costing more and more money each year to keep it from being buried by snow.
The new $153 million facility is much larger and is elevated on stilt-like columns to keep snow from drifting around it. It is shaped like an airplane wing to force wind underneath the building to blow the snow away. And its columns are designed so they can gradually raise the building up to two stories higher to keep the facility above the snow.
The new South Pole station will house 150 people in the summer and 50 people during the winter and contains a dining hall, dormitories and a gym.
The U.S. has maintained a permanent research station at the South Pole since 1956. The original 1956 station is now buried under 30 feet of ice and snow.