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McMurdo station, Antarctica

Date: c 1963
Dimensions:
Overall: 206 x 251 mm
Medium: Photograph, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased from USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Copyright: © Robert E Trauger
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00050942

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    Description
    These images are personal photographs by a US Air Force serviceman of his trip to McMurdo Base. The multiple prints and various exposures indicate that Robert E. Trauger developed them himself. He was killed in a ballooning accident about three years later.
    SignificanceThese images relate to the US scientific exploration of Antartica and the continuing US presence in the region. This exploration started with the US Exploring Expedition in 1838-1842.
    HistoryMcMurdo Station, located at 77 degrees 51 minutes S, 166 degrees 40 minutes E, is the largest Antarctic station. McMurdo is built on the bare volcanic rock of Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island, the solid ground farthest south that is accessible by ship. The station owes its designation to nearby McMurdo Sound, named for Lieutenant Archibald McMurdo of H.M.S. Terror, which first charted the area in 1841 under the command of British explorer James Clark Ross. British explorer Robert Falcon Scott first established a base close to this spot in 1902 and built Discovery Hut, still standing adjacent to the harbour at Hut Point.

    The station was built in December 1955. The United States officially opened its first station at McMurdo on Feb. 16, 1956. Founders initially called the station Naval Air Facility McMurdo. It is the logistics hub of the U.S. Antarctic Program, with a harbor, landing strips on sea ice and shelf ice, and a helicopter pad. Its 85 or so buildings range in size from a small radio shack to large, three-story structures.

    Related People
    Photographer: Robert E Trauger

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