Chinese research mission to Antarctic leaves Taishan station
The 37 members of the 35th Chinese research mission to the Antarctic -- from the Kunlun and Taishan teams -- left Taishan station for the 520-km-away Zhongshan station on Sunday amid a snowstorm.
The Kunlun team and the Taishan team of China's 35th Antarctic expedition move amid a blizzard in Antarctica, Feb. 3, 2019. The Kunlun team and the Taishan team of China's 35th Antarctic expedition left the Taishan Station for Zhongshan Station, which is some 520 kilometers away. They are expected to reach the destination on Feb. 8. [Photo: Xinhua/Liu Shiping]
After completing their research at Kunlun station, the 16 members of the Kunlun team left the station on Jan. 24 and met with the 21 Taishan team members at Taishan station on Thursday.
On Friday, the Taishan team finished the second stage of construction on the Taishan station, including the completion of the main building and installation of supporting facilities. All members then cleared the construction site and collected waste before leaving.
A severe snowstorm hit Taishan when the mission left with 11 snowmobiles. Visibility was down to about 100 meters and members could only communicate via interphones.
Lying at an altitude of 2,621 meters in the icy Princess Elizabeth Land in the East Antarctic inland ice sheet, Taishan was hit by continual snowstorms when it was opened for use in February 2014 and the weather has been snowy in summer since then.
As a summer station, the Taishan station, which is shaped like a Chinese red lantern, can be used by as many as 20 people as the second stage of construction has made it more environmentally friendly and better equipped.
The research mission is scheduled to arrive at Zhongshan on Friday and members will celebrate the Chinese New Year on their way back.