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The Tara Foundation launches the construction of Tara Polar Station in Cherbourg

The Tara Foundation launches the construction of Tara Polar Station in Cherbourg

Conceived as an observatory of environmental changes in the Arctic, the drifting station will take on board scientists from all over the world until 2045.

The very first part of the station has just been placed on the assembly table at the shipyard of Mechanical Constructions of Normandy (CMN) in charge of the project at Cherbourg (translation). This centerpiece, called moon-pool, is a 1.5 meter (4.9 ft) diameter aluminum cylinder that will harvest polar water up to 2500 meters (8200 ft) deep. Its positioning, crucial for the rest of the future station, marks the kick-off of the construction of this observatory of environmental changes in the Arctic. 

A multidisciplinary scientific adventure

About twenty scientists of different nationalities (and two dogs!) will live this exploration of the extreme: ecologists, climatologists, engineers, oceanographers, biologists but also journalists, artists and doctors will coexist to conduct in situ experiments, in the heart of the polar night. Their mission: to study this unique environment whose climate is warming three times faster than elsewhere. The station offers a chance to protect this climate sentinel seriously threatened by global warming and to get to know the unique marine biodiversity that it shelters. Ten missions of eighteen consecutive months are planned until 2045.

-20 °C  (-4 °F) and -52 °C (-62 °F) in the heart of the polar night in winter

Olivier Petit, the architect of the Tara boat (translation) who has already made the trip in 2006, is on deck! The station must be able to withstand outdoor temperatures that can drop to -52 ° C (-62 °F) while maintaining an indoor temperature of 18 ° C (64 °F). The structure of the boat will also have to withstand the pressure of the ice, hence an aluminum hull about 18 mm (0.71") thick and new welding processes.

The Tara Ocean Foundation

The Tara Ocean Foundation is the first recognized foundation of public utility dedicated to the Ocean in France. Its mission is twofold: to explore the Ocean to better understand it and to share scientific knowledge about the Ocean to raise collective citizen awareness. This polar station is a new step to strengthen French and international research on the Arctic and better understand the impact of climate change.

(c) Tara Ocean Foundation

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