Talk:McMurdo Station

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I think someone vandalized this! I mean, -100 °C temperatures? Could someone fix that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:18, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Why section on 1974 winter?[edit]

This section does not mention why this year is singled out for a section. I did a quick google search for "Winter 1974 McMurdo" and didn't find anything either. Could whoever put this in there add some explanation or take out the section? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Above freezing[edit]

In the warmest months (December and January), the temperature can easily reach 3°C or 4°C, the source is, you can tell it by browsing McMurdo weather in these months every year, and it easily reachs these temperatures. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:02, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Russian icebreaker[edit]

This article has to include info about the Russian icebreaker "Krasin", which saved the American scientists at this polar station in January of 2005. I find it strange that this event wasn't even mentioned in the Wikinews. KNewman 04:23, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

That seems a bit melodramatic. The icebreaker was hired for the season to help open up a channel to the station. That's a recurring task that happens each year. In 2005 the Krasin happened to be hired for this purpose. I can't see that there was any special danger, or that the Krasin did anything other than what it was hired to do. So why do you say that it saved American scientists? --Amble (talk) 02:39, 3 January 2012 (UTC)


This article is largely, if not entirely plagiarised.

I believe the copying went the other way: "This article is copied from an article on - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community."
—wwoods 01:32, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Origin of name[edit]

This needs to include where the name McMurdo came from. Who was it named after, thats important.

Done and done. ~ Ross (ElCharismo) 20:54, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

DASI Telescope[edit]

The DASI telescope isn't installed at McMurdo Station -- it was originally installed at South Pole Station, but has been subsequently removed and replaced with a project called QUAD.

[McMurdo Sound was] discovered by Captain James Clark Ross in February 1841 and named after Lt. Archibald McMurdo of HMS Terror. - from the McMurdo Sound page, Wikipedia.

What is the supply base for the other half of the continent?

Heating / Nuclear Reactor[edit]

Is there still a fission reactor there?Midgley 03:05, 11 December 2005 (UTC) Given as not... Midgley 02:50, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

No, there is no longer a reactor at McMurdo Station, and there has not been one there for a long time. The electric powerr at McMurdo Station comes from from six diesel generators that run three at a time.
I must point out, however, that the peace symbol statement in the article is incorrect; there may be scientists in that peace symbol photo, but the majority of those people were support personnel --not scientists--, as are the majority of people at McMurdo Station. Scientists are actually in the minority at MacTown, as they are far out-numbered by support personnel. In fact, as of this posting, there's not a single scientist out of the 202 people wintering at McMurdo in 2006. I also question why this little tidbit of info belongs in an encyclopedia might as well mention the fact that every Thursday night at Scott Base is American night, or that a majority of the winter residents at McMurdo get tanked on a regular basis.AntarcticFox 10:20, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
"If I recall correctly, the reactor is still there, buried near the coastline of observation hill, south of the helipad. The U.S. Navy buried it when it was decommisioned, but all the fuel for it was removed at the time."
Why make silly statements like "If I recall correctly", when you can use the Internet to find the precise information with no guesswork? (talk)
The above quoted text was inserted into my post by someone else. I've restored my comment to its original state and moved the offending text as it does pertain to the question originally asked. AntarcticFox 05:31, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I am interested in this topic it seems to me that having a nuclear reacter as McMurdo would be a very excessive amount of power suply for a settlment that is smaller than one square mile. With that much power they could even create some power transmission lines and have connected up New Zealand's Scott Station which is only one miles away from McMurdo. My question is how large was this nuclear reacter in acres or aquare feet? This way, I will know if it was standard size, or some kind of microsized one, if they even exist. Also in addition to the oversupply of power, another problem with the reacter was that there were recent enviromental treaties signed that try to protect antarticas enviroment from pollution, so I can see why they got it shut down. (talk) 09:49, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
The reactor was a small experimental design that generated about 1.8 megawatts of power. It was intended to fit within a single C-130 Hercules aircraft, although it was brought in by ship rather than by air. While in service, it was housed inside a rather modest single building. The Antarctic Treaty allows nuclear power, but it forbids nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal. Therefore, when the reactor was decommissioned, it was shipped back to the U.S.A. along with the nearby soil. The reactor was used for seawater desalination as well as fro electrical power, and I doubt there was any problem of excess supply. --Amble (talk) 22:52, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much you answered my questions. I did not know that "micro" nuclear reacters had been invented, yet. and existed. So becasue of that, I guess there really wasn't an oversupply of power after all. By the way how big was the building it was housed in? (talk) 00:05, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't have figures for the size of the building, but you can see a photo here: [1]. --Amble (talk) 23:09, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I have finally gotten around to digging up sources for this information and adding it to the article. As always, feel free to expand further. There's a lot more information in the article from the Antarctic Sun. --Amble (talk) 19:53, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Population of McMurdo[edit]

How many scientists are there? What science in particular are they doing?

I've been told 30% of the population are scientists, but I don't have a reference for it. Type of science is all over the place (zoology, geology, astronomy, particle physics...) and changes from year to year, making it difficult to encyclopedize. Gmarsden 18:58, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd be highly surprised to find out that 30% of the population of McMurdo is scientists. It's been my experience that most of the scientists just transit through McMurdo on the way to and from field camps, so I don't know that they would count as part of the population. I've definitely never seen 300 people in Crary Lab, and there definitely aren't enough labs there for even a third that amount.
I can vouch, however, that in the two winters I've spent at McMurdo there have been no scientists there. There are usually two science techs there, and the Crary Lab manager, all of whom are in the employ of Raytheon Polar Services, but no scientists. The NSF rep could be a scientist -- in the winter of 2006, however, the NSF rep was an engineer, not a scientist. AntarcticFox 05:42, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
AntarcticFox, McMurdo Sound could benefit from a good editor who is familar with the subject. Fishdecoy 11:19, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
30% may be wrong, but I would suggest simply counting the number of people in Crary would be the wrong way to go about getting a number. During November and December of this season, there were ~50 scientists at LDB (Long Duration Balloon), all of whom lived in McMurdo but spent very little time in Crary. I also spoke to several people in my dorm (e.g. seal, fish and ice researchers) who worked out on the ice and lived in McMurdo. No arguments about winter population... I have no experience with that. Gmarsden 17:38, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Telephone connections[edit]

Does anyone know why McMurdo Station does not have direct dial telephone service with the outside world? Australia has established it for its stations many years back (1990s?) and New Zealand also has a link. Surely it could be set up through one of the existing American territorial area codes, or perhaps through a number group off of Diego Garcia. Diego Garcia is already established as a military base used by the USA, and the long distance rates to Diego Garcia are probably steep enough compared to domestic American LD rates that adding McMurdo would fit in. Of course, I would not favour a country code just for McMurdo or for Antarctica as a whole, but then again, perhaps Antarctica should have a country code, with area codes being the same as a base's country's sponsor.

e.g., if Antarctica's country code was 890, followed by a number of seven to nine digits. All American (and Canadian) bases could have an area code of 1, then McMurdo could be area code 1, followed by a two digit location code, then four or five digits. Concordia Station could be 890 - 388 (for European Numbering Space) - a two digit location code, then four digits. Of course, existing dialing arrangments wouldn't have to change for Australia and New Zealand. Russian bases would be 890-7, Chilean bases 890-56, etc. Bases would call each other as international, not intra-national (e.g. area code and number only).

The numbers would not govern circuit arrangements, as there would be no direct connections between most bases. However, given increasing movement to packet switching from circuit switching, it ultimately wouldn't matter if Vostok called Amundsen-Scott station by dialing 00-890-190-2368 and the call routed through Moscow, New York and Christchurch: in reality, the packets would pass over the Internet through the fastest route to reach the destination packet switch, which is identified by the destination number. GBC 22:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Then, again, maybe it does. See link Apparently, Scott Base has a fibre link to McMurdo, creating a small free calling area, and McMurdo can link through. So, can McMurdo dial out as though it is part of the New Zealand telephone network? GBC 22:36, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I know at least one phone number for McMurdo. My friends work there, and I was given the number as an emergency contact. The area code is 720 because it's a satellite uplink out of Denver. Sorenr (talk) 14:04, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

It took a lot of hunting, but I managed to track down a reference that indicates McMurdo does have connections that are direct dialable. I managed to locate a phone number in McMurdo (for the local Austral-summer-only newspaper) and successfully dialed it from Canada. It will show up on my bill as a call to New Zealand. GBC 06:35, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "direct dial telephone service." I believe all our phone calls are routed through VOIP via satellite, so there are certainly no e.g. telephone lines between McMurdo and the outside world. However, it is extremely possible to dial Mactown directly and vice versa. You can do it through the New Zealand connection you mentioned, or you can go (probably a cheaper route from Canada) through the US-headquarters based numbers, several of which go directly to specific offices on station. (During Winter, it is possible to have a direct-dial number to one's dorm room as well, but this isn't feasible during the busy summer season. During Mainbody, all personal calls go through the Firehouse.) Prior to 2006, these calls were routed through Washington State. Currently, they route through RPSC headquarters in Denver - which means that McMurdo has a 303 area code. (This is nice for those of us who have family in the Denver area, because it means our calls home are local calls. Calls to other US area codes require a phonecard and are billed at a domestic long distance rate.) (Incidentally, I've been meaning to make a user account on Wikipedia for ages and your question inspired me to finally get around to it. Thanks! This is the first thing I've ever posted here, so forgive me if it's formatted or etiquetted incorrectly. :) ) Frozenfoxtale 09:11, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I believe that its communications are administered by Telecom New Zealand who also do Scott Base Taifarious1 04:33, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I updated the article to reflect my knowledge of the system while I was down at McMurdo. The state has two analog PDX systems. One in Crary and one in the Firehouse. These both accept outside calling with a 3 digit code. That code is told to everyone so it's no secret. The code does outside calling to Centennial Colorado where Raytheon Polar Services is based out of. You can make local calls in that region of the US or you can use a US calling card to call to your region (as I did). The phone system at McMurdo is linked to the Black Island transmission station via a digital microwave link and then uploaded to a NASA satellite in the NPOESS system Tas50 04 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, NPOESS (which I have worked on) was canceled before any satellites were launched. No NPOESS satellites were ever launched, although an NPOESS testbed sat will be launched later this year. Therefore, it is factually impossible for NPOESS to provide, or to ever have provided, a connection to McMurdo. Ddama (talk) 07:32, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Arithmetic flaw?[edit]

In the paragraph describing the annual sealift, 8 million US gallons is equated to 42 million L. Assuming L means liters, I'm pretty sure 8 million US gallons is closer to 30.3 million L. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:03, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

driving direction (left or right side or both)[edit]

There's request at de:Diskussion:McMurdo-Station about the Right- and left-hand traffic towards and from Scott Base to McMurdo Station. Both articles in English do not give sufficient answers. Nor the discussion page at de. Does anyone know? -- (talk) 13:34, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

You drive on the right. You'll see the Kiwis on an open road driving on the left, but when someone else is around they move to the Right and they drive on the Right while at McMurdo. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tas50 (talkcontribs) 07:37, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Mcmurdo Station is awsome —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:26, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

History section...[edit]

The last paragraph of this section needs some serious cleanup. Although some of the information may be useful, it is 1. unsourced and 2. written like a novel. I'll search for a source for this over the next few days; however, even if a few are located, the whole last paragraph needs a fundamental rewrite. I've already removed one paragraph in its entirety because it was not particularly useful. In addition, the paragraph probably runs afoul of WP:UNDUE, as it gives a detailed description of 7 months in 1974, and not much else outside of that period. I'd love some help on this, if I can get any. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:19, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

What's with the super long history of the nuclear reactor that is completely copy and pasted from ? 14:10, 25 January 2011 (UTC)Filthy swine (talk)

Location Map[edit]

This article is lacking a map showing the base location in Antarctica. Any one have suitable one for inclusion? SkyMachine (++) 23:28, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

The Location[edit]

So, here we have a major article on the McMurdo Station that does not have one word about its latitude and longitude so that anyone can locate it with precision. For example, how many degrees north of the South Pole is McMurdo Station? (talk) 18:39, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

You can find the coordinates at the top right of the article. For a topic like McMurdo Station, where its southern latitude is a key part of its reason for existence, it might be worthwhile to add a mention in the article body as well; you could also perhaps give the distance to the South Pole in km and miles. A few notes about using talk pages: I have moved your comments, as new sections customarily go at the bottom (see WP:TOPPOST); please note that it's not necessary or encouraged to edit other people's talk-page comments for grammar, capitalization, etc. (see WP:TPO); and finally, please do not use the talk page to berate other users (see WP:TPO). --Amble (talk) 19:04, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Effects of 2013 US government sequestration and shutdown[edit]

Can we get a discussion of the effects of the funding cuts and funding uncertainty on Antarctic research at McMurdo, South Pole, and Palmer?

The topic has received a fair bit of news coverage already, such as "Shutdown puts the entire US Antarctic research program on ice" and "Shutdown Forces Antarctic Research Into 'Caretaker Status'"

Some of permanent and otherwise serious repercussions on international science efforts are mentioned in the comments to the petition "Congress: Shutdown Exemption for the United States Antarctic Program". The facts that are useful for the Wikipedia article could be sourced from more official sources. (talk) 04:27, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I'm sure we will add information about this to the article as events develop. So far, though, there's enough uncertainty that it's hard to say anything very concrete. The petition necessarily discusses the prospective consequences of missing the summer season, but Wikipedia has to be pretty careful about making such predictions. --Amble (talk) 05:44, 13 October 2013 (UTC)