With the approval of State Oceanic Administration (SOA), China's 17th South Pole Expedition Team was lately formed, and read for the first time in the list of the expedition team are the two names of female Chinese.
This is the first time when China is going to send two females to spend the winter at the South Pole ever since the setting-up of the China's South Pole Changcheng Station in 1985. They are Zhao Ping from the Polar Office under the SOA and Lin Qing from Beijing Tongren Hospital. Zhao Ping, aged 32, will be doing the logistic work at the Changcheng Station, while Lin Qing, of 33 years old, will take care of the team's health work. Why will China dispatch two women to the South Pole Station for winter? Wang Jianguo, Head of Changcheng Station said that judging from the global point of view, this is not the first time for women to spend winter at the South Pole. Australia, Chile, Japan had women members sent to spend winter there. The reason for dispatching women there is, on one hand, the conditions in the South Pole have been improved a lot with the living conditions much bettered, every room having a toilet and on the other, this is also a try. Although there is no definite task for them, yet for women to pass through the winter is a new challenge. Women members will jot down how they feel, experience, psychological and physiological changes in order to provide scientific research of the pole with valuable data materials.
The 17th team consists of 37 members, including 22 to stay at the Changcheng Station and 15 at Zhongshan.
Wang said that the Changcheng Station, which is close by the 69 degrees, south latitude, is within the Antarctic Circle. During the toughest days, we can only have two hours of sunshine a day. Strong gale and piercing cold, dullness and solitude prove a strict ordeal to every member.
China will also dispatch women to the South Pole nonscheduled. If conditions are permitted, women members will be detailed to the Zhongshan Station located in the Antarctic Circle where the natural conditions are much worse.