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Chinese expedition reaches Dome A
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A 17-member Chinese expedition team Saturday reached Dome A, the Antarctic icecap peak, after a grueling 21-day journey.


The scientists reached the peak with an elevation of 4,093 meters at 11:45 a.m. local time (0645 GMT).


It is the second time that Chinese scientists have arrived at the peak after a similar climb on Jan. 18, 2005, the first ever by mankind.


In an excited mood, the explorers held a solemn flag-raising ceremony and erected a memorial sculpture at the peak.


Sun Bo, leader of the expedition team, told Changcheng Station in Antarctica via satellite phone that all 17 members were in good health. He said they were determined to finish a variety of scientific missions despite tough conditions.


The scientists are set to explore ice, observe ice streams, select a location for an astronomical observatory and carry out other tasks in areas around Dome A to prepare for the establishment of China's third Antarctic research station.


The expedition team set off from Zhongshan Station in eastern Antarctica on Dec. 22 for Dome A.


China currently has two stations in Antarctica. 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.


The 17 researchers are part of China's 24th scientific expedition team to Antarctica.


China launched its first expedition to Antarctica in 1984, since when such expeditions have been conducted on an annual basis.


(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2008)

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