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
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
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)