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November 2, 2013

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Team to build 4th station in Antarctic

Two foreign scientists will be among 256 members setting off on the Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, China’s only icebreaker, next Thursday from its Shanghai base for the nation’s 30th Antarctic mission.

The vessel is set to return to the city on April 10 next year after completing its first voyage around the Antarctic where Chinese scientists and engineering staff will build the nation’s fourth Antarctic station. They will also conduct geological study for the fifth station as well as other scientific missions.

Taishan, the fourth station, will be used only in summer while the fifth station will be used all year round, said polar research officials yesterday.

“Both the fourth and fifth stations will be completed before 2015 when China will have five stations for scientific research and observation,” said Qu Tanzhou, director of polar research office of the State Oceanic Administration. “With adequate quantity and reasonable arrangement of the stations, China will have better capability on Antarctic study, especially on climate and environment change.”

China now has three research stations in the Antarctic — Changcheng, Kunlun and Zhongshan. The Taishan Station is located between Zhongshan and Kunlun.

Officials said the plan for the fifth station has been agreed by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.

A detailed report on environmental impact assessment will be submitted to the committee for discussion next year and construction of the station will start after the plan is approved.



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