Kunlun Station


Dome A was first visited in January 2005, by a Chinese team that installed an automatic weather station. In 2009 China opened its third Antarctic outpost, Kunlun Station here. Astronomy is a major focus, but the ice beneath Dome A is 3130m thick and possibly as old as 1.2 million years at the bottom, so China plans to extract ice cores. Because of Dome A’s extreme cold, and the difficulty in reaching and supporting it, the station currently operates for summer only, and can host 28 people.

In the next decade facilities may be added that will allow it to remain open in winter.