On Friday 11 January 2002, the "cornerstone" of the new elevated station was laid. Well, not really. Rather, a time capsule, scheduled for opening in 2050, was placed in the north end of this grade beam closest to the beer can. When the beam was opened, the group was surprised to find an earlier "capsule" left behind by others...participants shown in the photos above and at right below are (L-R) Erick Chiang (NSF polar research support director, Jerry Marty (NSF construction manager), Carlton Walker (Raytheon construction manager), and Karl Erb (NSF director of the Office of Polar Programs).
The time capsule (left, Antarctic Sun photo by Mark Sabbatini) contains various artifacts of modern Pole culture, including a photo signed by the folks on station when the capsule was prepared, a copy of the current Science Planning Summary, some limited edition patches from last winter, a FEMC baseball cap, and a 1957 National Geographic issue with articles on the original station and program by Richard E. Byrd and Paul Siple. At left you see the loading of the capsule into the grade beam.
At left, another view of the capsule, with (from left) Erick Chiang, Karl Erb, Frank Cushing, and Jerry Marty. Frank Cushing was the staff director of the House Appropriations Committee; he helped obtain funding for a number of science projects, including the elevated station. After the loading, the participants and observers pose for a group photo (at right, from Andy Martinez)...but not for long. Weather was brisk, with a 24-knot wind! The crowd you see includes appropriations committee (looking after our tax dollars) as well as other Polies. Oh, the return flight to McMurdo for the DVs was delayed by weather, so the group got to experience Pole overnight hospitality (read, sleeping on the floor).
Here is the Antarctic Sun article, excerpted from the 13 January 2002 issue.