China opens Antarctic research base

Updated: 2014-02-09 08:37

By Xinhua (China Daily)

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China has opened its fourth Antarctic research base, the State Oceanic Administration said on Saturday.

The Taishan station looks like a traditional Chinese lantern. It is located at 76 degrees, 58 minutes east longitude and 73 degrees, 51 minutes south latitude on the East Antarctic inland ice sheet. It is situated at an altitude of 2,621 meters.

The site is between Zhongshan and Kunlun stations, and the annual average temperature at its location is -36.6 C.

 China opens Antarctic research base

China completes its fourth Antarctic research station, Taishan, which is expected to run for the next 15 years. Provided to China Daily

The station measures 1,000 square meters. Its main building is 410 square meters.

It can accommodate up to 20 people during the Antarctic summer - from December to March - and is equipped with a runway for fixed-wing aircraft specially designed for snow and ice.

The station's facilities can be used for scientific observation, accommodation, power generation, storage, machinery maintenance, communication and emergency shelter.

It also has oil storage installations and equipment to support a 400-ton inland transportation vehicle.

Construction began in December last year. It took a 28-member crew 53 days to build the station.

President Xi Jinping offered congratulations upon the opening in a letter on Saturday.

Xi extended sincere greetings to scientists who have overcome great difficulties to explore the Antarctic.

Scientific research in the region is important for the exploration of nature and development of mankind, Xi said in the letter.

The new research base will not only be a platform for China's scientific research but also for exchanges with scientists from other countries, he said.

Xi believed China's Antarctic research will benefit humankind.

The country's first Antarctic expedition in 1984 was the first step toward establishing the four research centers on the continent - Great Wall, Zhongshan, Kunlun and, now, Taishan. The first station, Great Wall, opened in 1985.

The Taishan station is expected to run for the next 15 years.

(China Daily 02/09/2014 page2)