China's 24th scientific expedition team arrived at the
Changcheng (Great Wall) Station in the western Antarctic Saturday
aboard the "Xuelong" (snow dragon) ship.
The exploration ship, carrying 91 researchers and 40 crew
members, left China's eastern coastal city of Shanghai on Nov. 12.
It arrived at the Zhongshan Station in eastern Antarctic on Dec. 11
and headed on Dec. 23.
The ship arrived with supplies for Changcheng Station's largest
ever renovation. The project includes a 1,000-square-meter building
for scientific research, a recreation center for the researchers as
well as garbage and sewage treatment facilities.
Other members of the 188-strong exploring team will travel to
Antarctic by air.
China launched its first expedition to Antarctica in 1984, with
such expeditions conducted on an annual basis since then.
Changcheng Station, founded in February 1985, is located south
of King George Island, and Zhongshan Station, built in February
1989, is located south of Prydz Bay on the Mirror Peninsula, east
of the Larsemann Hills.
On Dec. 22, 17 Chinese scientists set off for Dome A, the
highest Antarctic icecap peak at an elevation of 4,093 meters, to
choose a suitable location for China's third Antarctic research
station and implement a major exploration task, the Panda plan.
According to the Polar Research Institute of China, 82 stations
have been built on Antarctica and the continent receives more than
30 scientific expedition teams every year.
(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2008)