Comandante Ferraz Scientific Research Station, 4,500 m 2 wide on January 14 was officially put into operation on the island of King George.
Brazil's Comandante Ferraz research station in Antarctica.(Photo: Science Mag).
The new $ 100 million facility, built by China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation, looks striking with a sleek architectural design like a luxury hotel. It was nearly twice the size of the old research station that was destroyed in a fire 8 years ago.
The Comandante Ferraz station, consisting of 17 laboratories, will support research in a range of fields from geography, paleontology, climate change to human physiology. The facility is also equipped with many rooms, enough room for 64 scientists to live and work.
After the fire in 2012, Brazilian scientists continued to operate in Antarctica with the help of two naval research vessels. However, the process of collecting specimens and bringing them back to Brazil for research can take up to several months. They can now handle them right at their new facility on the Antarctic King George island.
The inauguration ceremony of the Comandante Ferraz Research Station took place on Wednesday with the participation of Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao and Minister of Science and Technology Marcos Pontes. Brazil's presence in Antarctica is not only scientific but also political when it is a member of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, in order to reduce the possibility of territorial disputes in this area.