welcome to mcmurdostation.com

Okay, I know...just like the station as seen in the above January 1956 photo, this website still has some construction work to do. But in the meantime, we have...
McMurdo Station as seen from Observation Hill, December 1972
The more recent past...my December 1972 Ob Hill station photo
view from the McMurdo USAP webcam
The present...otherwise known as the McMurdo USAP webcam
the McMurdo station master plan
The future...the first version of the station master plan, issued 1 April 2013, since revised (read on...)

Master Plan, Project, and Construction Updates

the RIES antenna in place

2021-22 updates--the Ross Island Earth Station antenna was lifted onto its pedestal on 16 December 2021, and radome and system completion is scheduled for January 2022. Documentation of the antenna installation and more details are here.

the IT&C webcam view on 13 December 2021

2021-22 updates--IT&C Primary Operations Facility and other construction--

Delays, and not much news due to that continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Coming soon...information on the 2018-19 aggregate production and building demo...

The IT&C facility as of 2 March 3020

2019-20 updates--the IT&C Primary Operations Facility construction effort made great strides during the 2019 winter and through March 2020...steel erection was completed, the addition was enclosed and...some interior work was started before that detested coronavirus started to rear its ugly spikes. Here's a page which includes a great video of the 2019 winter construction as well as 2019-20 photos.

AIMS project diagram

November 2018-February 2019: The AIMS project received official Congressional approval and the first of five years of funding in February 2019. Meanwhile, some of the "pre-AIMS" and not-directly-AIMS construction work had already begun on the SSC/IT&C Primary Operations Facility (my coverage)...

test build of the Ross Island Earth Station antenna

...as well as the Ross Island Earth Station project. At left, a photo of the antenna test build at the General Dynamics Satcom site in Texas. The antenna components were shipped south and arrived in McMurdo on the January 2019 supply vessel. More project details...

addition to the SSC
May-July 2018: Two important news items: first, in mid-April, Parsons was announced as a new subcontractor to Leidos' Antarctic Support Contract (ASC)--to perform design and management for Antarctic infrastructure efforts. Here is the Parsons press release. Secondly, in late June, NSF authorized ASC to proceed with construction of what is described as the IT&C building. For more information about this project, see the link in the next paragraph. And I must also mention that while the press release states that "construction begins," my sources at McMurdo (as well as the link below) confirm that phase 1 construction would not actually begin until January 2019, and span 2 austral summers to be completed in 2020. So, this as a "notice to proceed" rather than a "dirt is flying" announcement. More information is here.

the SSC, to be expanded and remodeled

April 2016-February 2017: The first actual project was developed in implementation of the master plan...phase 1 of an addition and renovation of the SSC, to be known as the IT&C Primary Operations Facility. After meetings with the stakeholders, a preliminary request for procurement was issued in November 2016 seeking input from prospective design-build contractors. After a meeting with prospective bidders was held in February 2017, the procurement process is continuing (details).

the current McM master plan image

December 2014-December 2015: The McMurdo master plan was significantly revised to version 2.0 by the ASC/Lockheed Martin folks...and they updated it again to version 2.1 in December 2015. The current and much more detailed version further consolidates the station facilities...and the plan documents significant improvements to the traffic flow, power/energy infrastructure, and...well, check it out!

original McM master plan image

April 2013: The first version of the McMurdo master plan was issued, as part of NSF's response to the 2012 Blue Ribbon Panel report, which outlined recommendations to improve the US Antarctic Program operations. The first such panel report, issued in 1997, spearheaded the construction of the new elevated station at Pole. Hence, the more recent panel report concentrated on McMurdo and Palmer Stations. Here is the first master plan, with details and links to that Augustine panel report and the NSF response.

Okay...so I've had this website for awhile, but only now started to update things. What else might be coming? The timeline for McMurdo is intertwined with the Pole timeline, so that won't be changing. But...I do have a few winterover photos and lists which hopefully are coming soon (stay tuned I'll be looking for more).

In the meantime...a few things that ARE here:

And of course I must note that the amazing background image above was scanned from the Operation Deep Freeze I (1955-56) U.S. Navy cruisebook. Here is a much larger version (2.1MB).

updated 4 August 2020