Chinese research ship Xue Long is to set sail for the Antarctic on Nov 8, marking the 34th time that China undertakes a national Antarctic expedition.
According to Yang Huigen, chief of the Polar Research Institute of China and the expedition team’s chief scientist, the expedition consists of 334 members and is expected to complete the 36,000-mile journey before April next year.
The expedition will utilize the cross-platform resources of the continental base, ocean base, air base and more, to prepare for the construction of China’s fifth research station in the region, located in Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea.
Meanwhile, the expedition team will start the construction of an Antarctic monitoring network, inspect and renovate the ocean environment, and conduct regular geophysical investigations.
The Xiang Yang Hong 01 research vessel will collaborate with Xue Long on the missions.
As of 2017, the icebreaker has successfully conducted 33 expeditions to the Antarctic region and eight to the Arctic while completing scientific research and transporting supplies to Chinese polar stations.