The station was opened on February 13, 1956 by the 1st Soviet Antarctic Expedition. It is used as main base for the Vostok Station located 1,400 km from the coast. In summer, it hosts up to 169 people in 30 buildings, in winter about 60 scientists and technicians. The average temperature at the location is –11°C, and on more than 200 days per year the wind is stronger than 15 m/s, with occasional cyclones.
Main areas of research are glaciology, seismology, meteorology, observation of polar lights, cosmic radiation, and marine biology.
The next station is the Australian Davis Station, at a distance of 678 km. From 1901 to 1903 the first German Antarctic Expedition led by Erich von Drygalski passed through the Davis Sea, and Drygalski Island right off the station was named after this explorer.