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China to expand Antarctica research

English.news.cn   2014-02-04 16:34:20

Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong docked in the waters nearby the Changcheng Station in Antarctica, Feb. 1, 2014. Over ten containers of waste and other scrapped vehicles from the Changcheng Station have been collected here recently in order to be shipped back for the sake of environmental protection. (Xinhua/Zhang Jiansong)

BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- China is preparing for a new period of polar exploration with its first fixed-wing aircraft and plans to build a new icebreaker for Antarctic research, oceanic authorities said.

The aircraft will be suitable for long distance transport of goods and staff, exploration and emergency response. The purchase plan for the aircraft was approved last year. Research facilities to be served by the aircraft have been chosen, according to the State Oceanic Administration.

China also plans a new icebreaker. A feasibility study on the new vessel has been submitted for approval.

The current icebreaker, Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, continued its research in Antarctic after being trapped by heavy floes from December last year until Jan. 7.

China is looking into establishing a fourth research base in Antarctica to expand the range of research and improve safety.

China launched its first Antarctic expedition in 1984 and has established three research stations on the continent -- Great Wall, Zhongshan and Kunlun.

(To stay up to date with the latest China news, follow XHNews on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XHNews and Xinhua News Agency on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/XinhuaNewsAgency.)

Related:

China Exclusive: China to build new icebreaker

SHANGHAI, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- China plans to build a new icebreaker for polar expeditions as its veteran Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, remains stuck in Antarctica after rescuing passengers from a Russian vessel.  Full story

China's icebreaker Xuelong trapped after Antarctica rescue

ABOARD XUELONG, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's icebreaker Xuelong has been trapped by heavy floes since Friday after rescuing passengers on a Russian vessel stranded in Antarctica. Full story

Editor: Lu Hui
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