Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

South Pole to Get Highway

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the south-pole-highway-patrol-now-hiring dept.

News 413

tetrad writes "The New Scientist magazine reports that the US is building a road to the South Pole. The "highway" would cross the Ross Ice Shelf and then pass through the Transantarctic Mountains (map here). Convoys of tractors will be the only traffic on the road, bringing fuel and heavy equipment to the South Pole, as well as enabling the installation of a $250M fibre-optic communications cable (discussed previously)."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

About Time! (5, Funny)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150393)

All I can say is "about time!" I've been waiting for this for years. I mean, now I can finally go to South Pole Disneyland.

Re:About Time! (5, Funny)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150497)

I would give almost anything to see Mickey Mouse freeze to death.

Re:About Time! (2, Funny)

YAN3D (552691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150590)

Heres some other guys who are happy.

TheBoys [sdf1.org]

Free phone 0800 587 1102 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150397)

Support for Xbox: Free phone 0800 587 1102

Call this number and Cost Microsoft some money

Seriously ... look (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150483)

Microsoft pay fo this 0800 service, you call it, and ask for XBox support, something like:

"X-Box support hello"

"Yes, erm, hi I am wondering something"

"We at X-Box Support love to help, do you agree to abid by the terms and conditions of... shared organs....sign your soul away... lalal.... do you lvoe bill?"

"whatever, I wondered if there was a patch for the kernel so my USB CD-rewriter would work on my XBOX?"

"erm, what game is it? we dont do cheats on this line"

"no no, I am runnign linux adn I"

"Alert alert alert alert kill kill kill"

and ergo costing them lovely money... let the /. effect begin

141 witheld your number tho!

Prank calls for fun and profit.

Well now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150402)

With global warming, we can't count on a consisten ground - it might flood.

In other news (-1)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150405)

Japan is building a ladder to heaven.

Re:In other news (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150591)

which is ironic, since most of them live underground.

Two birds with one stone (5, Funny)

OldStash (630985) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150418)

Yay! Now people can contribute to global warming and measure it at the same time!

Ok, but why? (5, Funny)

soulctcher (581951) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150422)

All of this money that they're wasting could go to feed all of the starving programmers... ...oh wait, I figured it out now. This is where they're SENDING the starving programmers.

says who? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150423)

Did they ask the rest of the world, or did they just assume ownership of the south pole??

Re:says who? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150440)

You betcha.

Watch us assume the ownership of the moon next, euroboy.

Watch Out Chile! (5, Interesting)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150493)

Antarctic is not owned by anyone, it is international territory, and governed by an international committee, with representatives from signatory countries. Therefore I would have to assume that before any highway is laid, this committee would have to approve it. I would say that if they're announcing the plans to do this, it's already been approved. I mean, it is a useful project. Scientists living in Antarctica currently have many problems involving not being able to get supplies and not being able to easily communicate their findings 'back home.'

On a side note, "Both Chile and Argentina have gone to great lengths to make their claims in Antarctica part of their national territory. While there has been no recognition of these claims by any other sovereign state, both countries have great nationalistic pride in these claims. In August of 1973, an Argentine cabinet meeting was held in the area claimed by Argentina. Chile's president Pinochet spent a week in Antarctica in 1977 which caused Argentina to devise the boldest plans for claiming sovereignty. In the fall of 1978, a pregnant Argentine woman was send to live in Antarctica and in Jan. 1979, Emile Marco Palma was the first child born in Antarctica. Following the pattern in colonialism as seen in North America, Emile takes his place in history along side Virginia Dare. The Argentines followed with a wedding in Feb. 1979. Both countries have maintained colonies of civilian dependents living year round at their bases and tourism from bases both in Chile and Argentina has grown significantly in the last decades." So perhaps this means...WAR! Yes, let's fight over a piece of ice.

Re:says who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150537)

did they just assume ownership of the south pole??

I guess so... [argee.net]

Re:says who? (1)

dunar (575371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150546)

the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 lays out a lot of the "ownership", based on scientifically active countries - I think 12 originally and 39 total are now involved. It has a lot to do with active research.

Specific land claims are a little different, with countries closest to Antartica being most active in maintaining historical claims.

Re:says who? (4, Informative)

big_groo (237634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150556)

Basically, yes - and they've reserved the right to do just that.

Check out the CIA World Factbook entry on the US here [cia.gov] .

Scroll down to the very end and read 'Internationl Disputes'.

Yee Haw! (1, Funny)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150424)

Hey, once we install that road, can we bring our SUVs down and pollute there too?
That's been, like, my dream since I first owned a vehicle that gets 16 gpm (gallons per mile)!

Re:Yee Haw! (0, Funny)

privacyt (632473) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150441)

I agree. Is nothing sacred? Why can't Antartica remain pristine? This planet is so fucking doomed it's pathetic.

Re:Yee Haw! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150507)

Whining about how entire industries will not be run down because of a scientifically unsound theory. That's what's pathetic.

Yay! (-1, Troll)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150425)

Just in time for global warming to melt the ice shelf, sinking their $12 Million highway. Your tax dollars at work, people.

What the Hell (1, Funny)

sjlutz (540312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150428)

As a taxpayer in the philadelphia area, I need new roads here to get to work more efficiently. Or more accurately, get the other idiot drivers out of my way :-)
Why am I supposed to pay for a road that goes no-where in another country?

Re:What the Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150599)

Like today, for instance. I76 was backed up because of "sun glare". WTF? Its called a sun visor, all cars have them! God I hate commuting from the city out side of it. But its not like any advancements to the roads around the city are even viable.

Sounds good... (5, Funny)

JHMirage (570086) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150434)

Traffic should be pretty light, and I bet I can speed with abandon, but I gotta believe that the tolls will be a bitch!

Longevity? (2, Insightful)

mbredden (641756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150446)

Okay, so they're building a road across Antarctica. Are they going to clear all the snow and ice, and build the road on actual terra firma? Or are they just going to build it on top of ice? If they build it on ice, and in 20-50 years that ice melts down somewhat because of (manmade global warming/natural global warming/my ass), the road would be in fairly rough shape if not impassable. I'm imagining this is going to be a costly project and any roadway that they're going to pour THAT kind of money into they are going to expect a fairly long lifespan from.

Re:Longevity? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150519)

What gets me is that they're doing this because of the lack of geostationary satellites over the Antarctic... so, would it cost less to park a satellite in the proper spot in space? I mean, we already waste a fuck-ton of money with NASA... they can at least do something besides poor unit conversions and installing space telescope lenses backwards...

Kierthos

Re:Longevity? (2, Informative)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150588)

Perhaps you can explain to me how it would even be POSSIBLE to park a geo-synchronous satellite over the South Pole. Since the principle of operation of geo-synchronous satellite is that it's orbital speed == the speed of the earth's rotation over which it's parked, and that the speed of rotation at the earth's poles is by definition zero, that would mean the satellite would have to be orbitting at speed zero. Doesn't seem too likely, does it.

Sean

Re:Longevity? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150632)

It doesn't have to be directly over the South Pole. Just have LOS on it. Therefore, it could be placed at a point where you can give it an orbital speed.

Kierthos

Did anyone read the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150553)

It just talks about laying cable, not roadway.

My mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150607)

I read the wrong article.

It's safe (2, Interesting)

siskbc (598067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150584)

Except for maybe the outer few miles, it's completely safe. The earth won't warm that much, and the shelf will only melt at the edges (where it's within a degree or so of 0C now). Within, there's about no chance. The ice in that shelf is *incredibly* old - that's why they take ice cores from it to get a picture of the atmosphere tens of thousande of years ago.

Re:Longevity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150597)

RTFA. This is not a paved road like the ones in the US. It is basically just a way of smoothing of a path on the ice and filling in any gaps.

It really disturbs me that morons like you that can't read and have to post as quick as possible because they want to sound smart get modded up.

RTFA (3, Informative)

squibix (602253) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150602)

In the first line of the second paragraph you would have noticed that the highway is described as an 'ice road' over 'the Ross ice shelf, which permanently covers the ocean.' A bit later, we read:
Construction of the ice road involves clearing the route of snow, bulldozing rough ice and filling in crevasses. The route will cross the Leverett glacier in the Transantarctic Mountains. ...
The road will need to be cleared of snow and checked for crevasses and ice movement each spring, says Karl Erb of the National Science Foundation in Virginia, which is funding the $12-million project. "But crevices don't change much from year to year," he says. "We will just have to monitor them."
Also, it's my understanding that the biggest problem with a road in Antarctica wouldn't be melting, but the continual accumulation of snow. That's what buried the old dome and forced the creation of a new research station a couple years ago. It may be, though, that melting is an issue on the ice shelf, if not over the continent itself.

Reading the article helps... (2, Insightful)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150603)

It pretty clearly states that the road is to be built over ice, and that one of the major issues is going to be verifying that no crevasses, ice shifts, etc, have occurred. Since the Antarctic continent is buried in ice sheets that are kilometers thick, clearing away the ice doesn't seem like a practical option. Sean

Thank goodness for the fiber optic! (1, Funny)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150447)

Those penguins sure do chew up the bandwidth!

Re:Thank goodness for the fiber optic! (1, Funny)

maverick41 (574379) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150544)

OK, Verizon won't bring DSL to Keller, TX (pop. 40,000) because there is only one central office, but move to a luxury ice-front condo on the pole and you redefine "residential broadband".

this will be useful (-1, Insightful)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150449)

for all 100 people that really want to go there, how many millions (or billions) of dollars will be spent for this?

seriously, i think a highway costs somethign insane like $250,000 a foot for a 6 lane highway. after blasting, clearing it out, leveling it off, laying down rocks, then pavement, and paint.

so, factor in you're going to be going over water, which is frozen and melting? ... just for how many people go to? they give a factor of a $250 million dollar fiber obtic line, but how much will the road cost ? is this even justified? bonus, war time, deficit, we have no money, let's BUILD A ROAD TO NOWHERE!

Re:this will be useful (5, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150510)

how many millions (or billions) of dollars will be spent for this?

Twelve ...as you would have known if you had RTFA. All they are doing is pushing the snow aside and flattening out the ice. No blasting, no rocks, no pavement, no paint.

Re:this will be useful (1)

schmink182 (540768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150612)

All they are doing is pushing the snow aside and flattening out the ice

Hmm...can I just go ice skating on it instead? Sounds a lot more fun than driving there.

Re:this will be useful (0)

halftrack (454203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150616)

"so, factor in you're going to be going over water, which is frozen and melting?"

No ... antartica is solid land and some ice at the coast at winter, but mostly solid land.

In adition clearing some ice and flattening shouldn't be that expencive, $12 millions the article says.

Re:this will be useful (4, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150622)

Did you read the article at all?

Construction of the ice road involves clearing the route of snow, bulldozing rough ice and filling in crevasses. The route will cross the Leverett glacier in the Transantarctic Mountains.
...
The road will need to be cleared of snow and checked for crevasses and ice movement each spring, says Karl Erb of the National Science Foundation in Virginia, which is funding the $12-million project. "But crevices don't change much from year to year," he says. "We will just have to monitor them."


It's going to cost $12 million for a 1600km back-country road. It's not a high speed 6 lane super highway. No asphalt. No lines. It's a compressed snow/ice road that they are smoothing out and filling in crevices.

While I have not ever gone to the south pole, pictures I've seen indicate that it is pretty much frozen year round. I don't think that they are going to have to worry a whole lot about melting ice/snow in the imediate future.

The National Science Foundation is funding the entire road project...not the US Government directly. Yes the NSF is funded by the government, but I'd imagine that it has a regular line-item entry on the fiscal budget each year so it really isn't anything extra. I'd rather they build this road then have any polition go on a "fact-finding" junket.

Also, the road is justified. They are starting research at the south pole (Ice Cube Project) that requires heavy equipment to be brought in. Currently the only way to get their is by air, which places limits on the weight of cargo and they have to have clear skies. This road will help with both of those limitations.

Re:this will be useful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150628)

No! PLEASE STOP MODDING TROLL PARENT UP. He Did not read the article and is just spewing the first piece of shit to float to the top of his little mind.

Then again. It is one way to filter out all of the crappy moderators because you surely will get be metamodded into oblivion.

Re:this will be useful (0, Flamebait)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150636)

This is about the dumbest thing I have ever seen here, and that is saying a lot. A 6-lane highway in Antarctica? Rocks? Pavement? Paint? Good grief.

another solution (3, Funny)

nyc_paladin (534862) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150451)

Can't we just give them segways with snow wheels instead?

Structural problems (2, Interesting)

skubalon (579506) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150452)

Wouldn't that have some significant problems in structural stability. I mean it's built on an ice shelf. Ice floats. Antarctic ice shelves have been known to dissapear [slashdot.org]

Sounds like a waste of money to me!

that is a big investment (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150456)

Considering that they own no part of the
southpole, and insted have to lease off
other countrys, one woudl of expected
us Aussies to be doing that, but where too
cheep..

Re:that is a big investment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150605)

Yeah, but Aussies are smart enough to realise that building roads (which cause global warming, and melt ice) on a big chunk of ice is not a very smart thing to do.

The speed limit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150457)

Is still 75mph!

Fibre optics (2, Funny)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150460)

So the Antarctic scientists get broadband before my village in England?

Now they'll be 0wning me at Quake, in between sexing penguins or whatever they do ;-)

Re:Fibre optics (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150489)


So the Antarctic scientists get broadband before my village in England?

Yes, and they also get dentists, decent food and cold beer.

Re:Fibre optics (0)

Kojote (636710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150625)

Sexing penguins?!?! I'd like to see penguin porno...now thats entertainment!

Gas stations? (2, Funny)

tbaggy (151760) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150461)

Wonder if they'll have the signs on the highway that say "Last chance for gas - next station 1000km away"

And..how about the poor soul that has to actually WORK at that station!

No, they won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150571)

Because it's American, so the sign will read "Last chance for gas - next station 621.5 miles away"

km? Try mi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150572)

This is an American road.

Re:Gas stations? (3, Offtopic)

Ballsy (104411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150595)

Of course they won't. The signs will be in miles, since the US insist on maintaining their archaic measurement units instead of migrating to something more widely accepted, like metric.
As for the guy working at the station, he'll be fine, as long as they build a Tim Horton's beside it.

Re:Gas stations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150647)

To quote Sean Connery, the rest of the world can "suck it."

Please dont ... (1)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150462)

I believe this is just the right time for Danforth to tell what he saw ....

South Pole Highway (1)

Doctor Sbaitso (605467) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150468)

A highway to the South Pole?

How many tractors are there, exactly?

Taco Math. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150472)

Have you looked at your posting history lately? Today, I was surprised to see many of my posts at Score: 6 (Interesting). Interesting indeed.

Slashdot has truely jumped the shark.

A real professional. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150532)

I love how he develops and makes ad hoc changes on a production system. And here I am wasting money on separate development and test environments.

Suckers (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150473)


hitchhiker: hey man, you going south to Florida?

trucker: No I'm goi... err. yeahhh.. hop in little buddy!

But will it be patroled by jackbooted troopers? (1, Offtopic)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150477)

There might finally be a road where I can drive as fast as I want and nobody will care...of course onn that road speeding is probably 30mph...:>

Here's a tip... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150478)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)michael|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_e_x_*_

MICHAEL! The most despised Slashdot editor! You are a goddamn, motherfucking, shit-snorting, baby-raping, piece of ass hypocrite! I want you to fucking commit suicide! Do us all a favor!

Testing out your new friend-whore Slashkode patch this morning, eh? You want people to befriend you? Then how about you become a good editor for once! You goddamn fucker, the only way you can get your friend list to above zero is to force people on it if they want to comment! You FUCKER! How fucking lame is that? Just admit the fact that you are a rampant homosexual and you want attention! Just come out and admit you'd prefer to suck anonymous cock rather than spend another minute alone dealing with your pathetic existance!

I'd love to see some random slashbot punch you in what you would call a nutsack because of your faggotry! Holy shit, you fag, can you suck any more? If you could suck cock like you suck on this website, you'd be a homosexual LEGEND! Millions of fags would line up at your doorstep to be vacu-whored by your divine, cock-trained tongue! You'd never have to eat again, what with all that manjizz occupying your stomach! Free "food", the attention you crave, and sexual satisfaction is all within your faggoty grasp, if only you'd just post a story on Fagdot indicating your true preference!

In conclusion, michael, code slashkode all you want, but we all know what you are really after: Hot, gay, underage, pulse-pounding cocks spewing GNU/jizz down your pro-censorship throat! Quit wanking to pics of Richard Stallman and just come out! We all want you to!!!

ALSO, COMMIT SUICIDE, YOU GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKER!!

Calm down dude! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150531)

Whoa! Calm down, dude.

I wouldn't go insulting and threatening Slashdot editors like that. Just check out the Slashcode. They can see your IP number and after that it's pretty easy to track down your physical address and sue you (or administer some rough vigilante justice).

No, they don't. (-1, Offtopic)

Scott Lockwood (218839) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150611)

They don't track IP's. It's far better to let people make terroristic threats than to hold people accoutable according to Rob Malda. I've had far, far worse said about me, and the only response I got was "We don't track IP's, and we delete the MD5 hashes after 2 weeks. Sorry, they've done it to me too, and it sucks." So, at least he's willing to put up with the same crap and garbage, but until such time as someone sues slashdot and they get held liable, this policy will likely not change.

Last unspoilt place on Earth (5, Funny)

dubstop (136484) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150482)

This reminds me of a story in The Onion's 'Our Dumb Century' book. It was something along the lines of, "US military find last unspoilt place on Earth, blows it to hell."

More pollution (-1, Flamebait)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150486)

But then what would you expect from a nation where cheating is acceptable accountant practice. And where not being able to tell the truth is required to be president...

Makes a change from starving civilian populations to death by trade embargo I supose...

Penguin joke (5, Funny)

Mothra the III (631161) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150490)

There was a penguin driving his car down a desert road.

It was a really hot day, and his car is really a really old convertible. Up ahead he saw a small town.

All of a sudden, his hood burst open and oil shot into the air.

He pulled it into the first mechanic he saw in the town and cleaned himself off. The mechanic told him it could be a little while, so he waddled across the street to the ice-cream stand.

He got a dish of vanilla ice-cream, and since he had no arms, just flippers, he had to fling it towards his mouth. Well, after he finished his ice-cream, and was covered with vanilla ice-cream, he waddled across the street back to the mechanic.

The mechanic was looking at the engine and said, "Well, it looks like you blew a seal."

The penguin says, "I did NOT! It's just ice-cream!"

Re:Penguin joke (0, Funny)

mikefoley (51521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150576)

That's the joke I told my wife the night I met her! (Really!)

RFI: FILTER "FUNNY" POSTS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150494)

Please allow us poor readers of this site to FILTER THESE STUPID "FUNNY" POSTS. I can't stand them anymore. I can even signup in your damned database to avoid reading that idiotic "funny" comments.

Re:RFI: FILTER "FUNNY" POSTS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150555)

Easy ... search for all of your posts, and just read those.

Hey! (-1, Offtopic)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150496)

I didn't know Antarctica had its' own fairy-Congresscritter! Normally, you need to have one of those pork-barrel-lovin' sons of guns to get anything done...

In other words, it's YAWOFTM (Yet Another Waste Of Taxpayer Money).

Kierthos
(So many better things to spend it on, so little actual incentive to help people in this country...)

It's pretty necessary (5, Informative)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150498)

If there's going to be a permanent presence on the South Pole, this kind of infrastructure is necessary. I worked on a satellite communications system that talked with the NOAA polar-orbit spacecraft. At the poles, you'll see the spacecraft every 90 minutes. Near the equator, you'll only see them 3 times a day for about 10-20 minutes (usable time) per. The polar research stations use the NOAA satellites as a primary communications store-and-forward service, as they can't see the geostationary satellites. Makes communicating with the research stations difficult.

Don't go expecting an asphalt two-lane road. Calling it a "highway" is misleading. A "conditioned ice-road" is more appropriate.

Um incase you were too busy to read the article (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150500)

'In the next few weeks the ice road should have crossed the wide expanse of the Ross ice shelf, which permanently covers the ocean, and be approaching the Transantarctic Mountains. The mountains mark the halfway point to the Pole.'

The road is going to be ICE, not pavement. All they are doing is plowint the snow off of a section of the ice shelf.

hrmmm (-1)

odyrithm (461343) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150501)

that looks like a pretty good run for my dragster.. wonder if there have traffic police patroling it? unlikely! :-D

plz mailb0mb dis box. tks. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150503)

hopscotch@libero.it

Once again, science fiction leads the way (1)

Adam Rightmann (609216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150505)

This was prominently mentioned in Kim Stanley Robinson's Antartica, which is so much alike in theme and characterization ti his Mars trilogy that it can be referred to as "White Mars".

Permanent fixture? (1)

sczimme (603413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150511)


From the article:

Once completed the road is likely to become a permanent fixture.

Yes, I suspect it might. It's probably not going to melt, and glaciers don't move very fast.

On the bright side, I doubt we'll see road crews lounging around the work sites: the climate will be too cold for that.

(In most parts of the US, given a road crew of N, (N-1) will be standing around watching 1 work.)

Antarctic natural resources? (1)

Alcohol Fueled (603402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150518)

"And the road is unlikely to pave the way to exploitation of Antarctic natural resources, as this is banned under the Antarctic Treaty until 2041."

Okay.. I know nothing about Antarctica, except it's really cold. What natural resources are there? Is there oil hidden deep beneath the ice or something? I imagine that would have to be the only thing down there. Not like there's coal to mine or trees to chop down...

You got to be kidding me.... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150524)

After seeing this Ice Berg from Ross Shelf [nsidc.org] I'm not sure thats such a good idea at that location if things keep warming up.

Additional Links And Info On This Story (2, Informative)

cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150529)

We ran a story on this topic yesterday [scifitoday.com] over on SciFi Today with quite a few additional information links. A list of ALL of our recent stories is here [scifitoday.com] . You can put SciFi Today Headlines on your Slashdot frontpage by clicking here [slashdot.org] and putting a checkmark in the SciFi Today box. Check us out!!!

penguin huggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150530)

I wonder if we'll see any crunchy granola types chaining themselves to chunks of ice in order to prevent this road from being built. Forget living in trees, to be a true environmentalist, you must haul ass down to the south pole and set up camp right in the way of the tractors.

On the other hand, this also opens up all kinds of jokes about roadworkers and the south pole. Like, how many union guys does it take to build a road to the south pole? A hundred, one to the hold the stop sign (to hold up penguin traffic), 49 to take a hot chocolate break, and 50 to complain to the union rep that it's too cold to work. Better watch out that the crack doesn't get the frostbite!!

Shame really (1)

brokenspoke (569526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150541)

All those "penguin crossing the road" jokes.

moron 'giving' .controll of yOUR trade routes... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150543)

to Godless greed/fear based LIEforms:

"We have 100's of machines in the math department at UT where I am a professor, and they all are running Linux. But we wanted to use Dell's from here in austin, and that forced us to have MS Windows on every machine we bought. We are free to wipe it off the machines, they do not put in the sales contract that you have to keep the OS, although they do sometimes make noises at warranty time ... We wipe it off and replace it with Linux, which is more reliable, but we were still contributing to the MS cash flow. Dell would not sell a desktop machine without MSWindows, because of the price break MS gives them if they force all users to buy windows. Another little way of making your OS dominant. You get 70% of the market, and you tell a manufacturer, that you will charge him $1,000,000 say if he puts your OS on say 70% of the machines he builds and only $950,000 if he puts it on a 100%. Which is he going to do? And maybe only $925,000 if he puts your browser on too. Of course the numbers were secret but this is how it is done. Both MS and Dell are really trying to help the customers. And you wonder why other OS's just don't seem to be able to compete. And it is only getting worse. Exactly as Microsoft foresaw, once they had dominance, even if nothing else changed it would be harder and harder to browse the web using the competition's browser. Perhaps all this is too subtle for the appeals court judges, I was surprised that Penfield seemed to actually understand it."

resources? (1)

jiminim (104910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150548)

"And the road is unlikely to pave the way to exploitation of Antarctic natural resources, as this is banned under the Antarctic Treaty until 2041."

So what exactly are these natural resources?

Penguin X-ING Next 40 Miles (1)

Kojote (636710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150549)

Do you think you could call AAA if you hit a penguin and run off the road?

Reliability (1)

nomadicGeek (453231) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150559)

The sad thing is that this 1040 mile fiber link to the South Pole will probably be more reliable than the DSL link to my house.

Of course what can I expect for $50/month.

Railway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150560)

Wouldn't a railway be better? I believe a two-track railway takes up less space than a 7.3m single carriageway and electric trains cause less pollution (in the vicinity of the railway) than diesel lorries and cars. As well as this, I think the railway can handle more cargo than the road (we wouldn't want to have to widen the road every ten years, would we?).

Of course, we would be able use this new railway to connect the South Pole to the rest of the Americas (at least in theory), allowing cargo to move from the USA to the Pole at up to 80m/s (about 180 miles per hour). Sadly, it doesn't look like the UK will be connected (although given that British trains are not known for rapidity or reliability, this would not be a major loss as there would be no point in vital perishable supplies destined for the Antarctic being held up at Potter's Bar due to a signalling fault). (It also seems that there will be no connection to South Africa.)

Be Careful! (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150562)

From the article: The road could be open to heavy traffic for up to 100 days a year during the austral summer.

This is the last (for the most part) unpolluted place on earth and we are going to be running heavy diesel puking machinery through there. What really worries me is that the treaty banning exploitation of natural resources runs out in another 30 or so years and what will this highway bring? I appreciate the importance of the cosmic ray detector and for other science being performed at the pole, but we should be very careful. Highway building is incredibly destructive.

obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150563)

1) Build highway in South Pole
2) ????
3) ????
4) ????
5) ????

The important points (4, Informative)

Xibby (232218) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150568)

Since nobody seems to actually read articles:
$12-million project
1600 kilometres
20 days for the inland trip
10 days for the return to the coast (downhill!)

(That's a staggering average speed of 3.33 KPH for the trip to the pole, 6.66 KPH for the trip to the coast)

The traffic will consist of slow-moving convoys of caterpillar tractors, towing sleds with supplies.

The Scott-Amundsen base is only currently accessible by air, which places limits on cargo and relies on good weather. The road could be open to heavy traffic for up to 100 days a year during the austral summer.

Finally some answers... (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150574)

As long as Wilford Brimley doesn't get them, we'll hopefully get to find out what happened to MacReady and Childs.

Who are they going to call... (0, Funny)

mtc162 (604327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150577)

When it snows and the road is blocked? Mr. Plow of course!

Where's the benefit? (1)

mcoko (464175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150581)

The Scott-Amundsen base is only currently accessible by air, which places limits on cargo and relies on good weather. The road could be open to heavy traffic for up to 100 days a year during the austral summer.

So the road is also limited. And what kind of cargo can a Snow Cat carry that a plain can not? Not much I would think.

The polar base plans three return journeys each summer, says Spindler. The annual capacity of the route would be about a million litres of fuel - roughly the capacity of three Hercules transporter planes that currently supply the base.

So any number of road trips will get 1 Mill Liters of fuel that would take just 3 flights. Sounds more expensive to send by land, especially since you can only travel 1/3 of the time a year. What about the rest of the year.

Can any0one say.... (0, Offtopic)

El Camino SS (264212) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150589)


RrrrrrrOOOOOAAAAD TRIP!

Oh yeah.

RTFA, RTFA, RTFA (2, Insightful)

andyring (100627) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150600)

C'mon, people, it's NOT THAT HARD to click on a link and read for a few minutes. This is not a "road" as we understand them. Basically, they will clear a path on the ice so it is free from snow and debris, and fill in any crevices, etc., with (presumably) ice, etc. As some have suggested, no, the road will not be dug down and laid on terra ferma. They would have to dig hundreds of feet to do that. Basically, they'll take big bulldozers and clear the way for large caterpillar-type vehicles to carry fuel and supplies. Now, everything must be brought in by air, and that's gotta be expensive!

moron having yOUR propertIE reFUNdead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5150614)

doing it buy the #'s, it looks like j. et AL, will be taking IT up the .asp, for years to come. what a shame/sham.

?many? will NOT be residing on the smelly end of the payper liesense, stock markup FUDgeCycle(tm) ever again. congratulations.

Big Dig (1)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150626)

And I bet it will be done cheaper, and finish before Boston's Big Dig [google.com] ! In the south pole, none the less!

At the Highway of Madness (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150634)

Do we reallly want to build a highway that cuts through the Mountains of Madness? I mean, do we really want to make it that much easier for the Shoggoths to get out of there and move to a warmer climate?

HOw long before the 1st antarctic drive-thru? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150643)

I mean , 1600km is a LONG distance to drive without somewhere to pull in an have some yummy burger. And just think how all that tossed out old food will help keep the penguins fed in the cold winters. And how about a few Holiday Inns while they're at it? I mean who *really* wants to sleep in a Snowcat with a dozen other smelly outward bound types if you can have the luxury of dralon sheets and cable TV? Seriously , though , hasn't anyone noticed the sad irony of a road being drive through the last untainted wilderness on earth to serve scientists whose sole purpose is to measure the bad effects man is having on the enviroment? What the hell are they thinking??

plow man?! (1)

clarionhaze (641956) | more than 11 years ago | (#5150646)

I'd like to be the plow man for that road!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?