Australia’s Casey research station will be able to support more scientists undertaking globally significant research with the opening of a new accommodation facility in Antarctica.

The East Wing is an extension to the main living facility known as the Red Shed. It includes 39 bedrooms with shared bathroom and laundry facilities.

It will increase accommodation capacity at the station to 120, which is vital during the busy summer months when Australian Antarctic Program researchers use it as a launching pad for work across the continent.

Casey research station also serves as a hub for other Antarctic nations that transit through Australia’s Wilkins Aerodrome to their national stations.

The original Red Shed was built over several years starting in 1983, and has already had one accommodation extension, the West Wing, in 2009.