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China’s 40th Antarctic Scientific Expedition Sets Sail 

Source: | 2023-11-03 13:36:05 | Author:

China’s 40th Antarctic scientific expedition, made up of more than 460 people from over 80 domestic organizations, departed from Shanghai on November 1. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

By Staff Reporters

China’s 40th Antarctic scientific expedition, made up of more than 460 people from over 80 domestic organizations, departed from Shanghai on November 1. They will travel more than 30,000 nautical miles, build a new base station, and return in April 2024.

The new Antarctic station will be built around the Ross Sea in Antarctica, and will be China’s fifth expedition base in the South Pole. The team is expected to arrive at the construction site around December and complete their work in 60 days.

“The station to be constructed … is China's first expedition station facing the Pacific sector,” said Wang Zhechao, leader of the Ross Sea new station team.

Wang said the new station will be used for multi-circle, multi-disciplinary observation and monitoring and scientific research on the atmospheric environment, basic marine environment and biological ecology.

According to Zhang Beichen, leader of the expedition, Chinese polar exploration vessels Xue Long and Xue Long 2 will carry out a series of investigation and monitoring missions in the adjacent sea area of the Antarctic Peninsula. The team will research the biological ecology, water and sedimentary environments, the atmospheric environment and pollutant distribution.

While the two vessels left Shanghai, a third, the cargo ship Tianhui, departed from Zhangjiagang city in Jiangsu province, east China, carrying materials for the construction of the new station. For the first time, China's Antarctic scientific research is being logistically supported by three ships.

China signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and became a treaty consultative party two years later. In 2017, China’s State Oceanic Administration released a document that said China will carry out extensive international exchanges and cooperation on Antarctic exploration.

Editor: 林雨晨

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