SHANGHAI, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong (Snow Dragon) left Shanghai on Thursday, setting sail on the country's 30th scientific expedition to Antarctica.
The 256 member team include scientists from Taiwan and Thailand. The average age is 36, with the oldest 61 and the youngest 21, according to Liu Shunlin, chief scientist and leader of the team.
The team will work on 30 assignments, take supplies to China's Antarctic stations, set up a fourth research station, the "Taishan", and chose a site for another new station.
The expedition will last for 155 days, covering 31,500 nautical miles over its entire course. The team is expected to return home in April, 2014.
China launched its first expedition to the Antarctic in 1984 and has already established the Changcheng Station, Zhongshan Station and Kunlun Station.