India’s 3rd research station in Antarctica Bharti to be commissioned in 2012

  • Bharti is the name of third Research station commissioned by India at Antarctica. It will be the third and second active research station along with Maitri (active) and Dakshin Gangotri(abandoned, but used as supply base) for the nation.
  • India has demarcated an area beside Larsemann Hills at 69°S, 76°E for its third settlement and second active research station. The survey has already been completed and the station is scheduled to be operational by 2012. When it is complete, India will enter the elite group of nine nations having multiple stations within the Antarctic Circle.
  • Bharati is proposed for oceanographic research and will collect evidence of continental breakup to reveal the 120-million-year-old ancient history of the Indian subcontinent.
    • The first Indian Antarctic Expedition was launched in 1981.
    • India’s first Indian station ‘Dakshin Gangotri’ served from1983 to 1988.
    • At present, ‘Maitri’ which was built in 1989 serves the Indian scientific community to conduct research in diverse scientific disciplines
  • After ‘Bharti’ becomes operational, India will join the league of select nations that have multiple operation stations in the region. The new station is located almost 3,000 km away from the existing ‘Maitri’ station which has been serving the nation since its inception in 1988-89.
  • The Larsemann Hills area is marked by persistent, strong katabatic winds that blow from east to southeast during austral summer. Extreme minimum temperature recorded in the region so for is -40 C, though the daytime mean monthly temperatures during summer drop to around 0 degree C.
  • India had in the past established Dakshin Gangotri (1983) and Maitri (1988-89) stations in Antarctica. The former has since been decommissioned after it got buried under ice and has been marked as an historic site.

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