Changes during our absence
When you leave for the summer, there are always lots of striking changes when you return "home" in the fall.
The new Elevated Station was officially dedicated on January 12, 2008 and the panel crew worked hard to finish up the gray siding on the front of the station in time for the ceremony. The ceremonial flags that normally fly not too far from the geographic pole were moved to be centered more in front of the station. It makes for a prettier picture.
Because the ice sheet that we sit on is steadily moving about 30 feet a year, the geographic pole is moved on New Years Day to the actual spot that marks 90 degrees south latitude. It is now no longer right in front of the station but marching off towards the Clean Air Sector.
Here's the entire front of the station, although the photos turned out a little dark as it was overcast yesterday after work when I went out for a stroll. I'll try to take more pictures on a better day for later.
This is the main entrance to the station, what we call Destination Alpha (to distinguish it from the other entrance that most people use, Destination Zulu where the trash line sits). It's the closest entrance to the station from the flight deck for the newly arriving passengers stumbling off of the plane gasping for air. The top deck is an observation deck that is great for watching auroras during the winter.
The paneling now wraps around to the backside of the station and this summer they finished the far wing which holds the gym and then got as far as the B1 wing. This is the berthing wing where I live and my windows are the bottom left two (I have a double room again this year). The B1 wing also houses the emergency power plant and the tank at the very bottom left corner is the emergency fuel tank.