Pedro Duque will officially open the new Spanish Antarctic Base (BAE) Juan Carlos I, managed by the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) – an agency under the Ministry – which was under renovation since 2008. The remodeling was completed in 2018.
The Juan Carlos I base is located on the southeast coast of South Bay, on the Hurd Peninsula of Livingston Island (South Shetland Archipelago), about 20 miles of navigation from the other Spanish base in Antarctica, the Gabriel de Castilla, located in Deception Island and managed by the Army.
The base, opened in January 1988, aims to support Spanish activities in Antarctica and, in particular, the realization of the projects of scientific investigation which coordinates the Antarctic Research Subprogram of the National Natural Resources Program.
It is occupied only during the southern summer, from mid-November to early March, although automated records are maintained throughout the year.
The minister plans to reach the Antarctic continent on February 1. First you will arrive at King Jorge Island, where you will attend a commemorative event at the Chilean base Julio Escudero. Subsequently, embark on the Oceanographic Research Vessel (BIO) Hesperides bound for Livingston Island, where the base Juan Carlos I.
The next day, on February 2, the minister will visit the facilities of the base, where scientists will explain the projects that are being developed. That same day, he will attend an opening ceremony of the remodeling of the base, where the new laboratories will be named: 'Laboratories Area: Ballester-Castellví', in honor of two of the CSIC pioneers in the establishment and development from the base.
In the afternoon, the minister will embark again at the BIO Hespérides towards Deception Island, where another of the Spanish Antarctic Bases, the Gabriel de Castilla, is managed, managed by the Army.
On February 3 you will visit the facilities of this base, where you can see what are the scientific projects that are being developed in it. Duke and all the accompanying team will once again set foot in the Hesperides that afternoon to return to the Antarctic Peninsula. And on February 5, they are expected to return to King George Island.