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February 5, 2014

China Set to Expand Antarctic Research, Build New Icebreaker

Snow Dragon: Photo courtesy of Xinhua China Net

Snow Dragon: Photo courtesy of Xinhua China Net

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, report Xinhua according to information from Chinese oceanic authorities.

China plans a new icebreaker and 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, 2014.

China is looking into establishing a fourth research base in Antarctica to expand the range of research and improve safety. In this project the new 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 also been chosen.

Source: Xinhua

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