China opens 4th Antarctic research station

2014-02-10 13:02
Ross Sea in the Antarctic. (Picture: AP)

Ross Sea in the Antarctic. (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - China's fourth Antarctic research station - the flying saucer-shaped Taishan - has officially opened, in another step for the country's exploration ambitions in both Earth and space.

The station, named for one of China's five sacred mountains, sits at an altitude of 2 600m between China's Zhongshan and Kunlun stations, according to the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

The site's average annual temperature is -36.6°C and construction began on 28 December.

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported at the weekend that President Xi Jinping offered written congratulations, calling scientific research in the frozen continent important for exploring nature and developing mankind.

State media announced in December that workers were on their way to construct the facility to be used during summer for research into "geology, glaciers, geomagnetism and atmospheric science", saying its main building would be shaped "like a Chinese lantern". A fifth station is also being planned, reports said.

Pictures of the Taishan facility released by Xinhua show a 12-sided structure raised on stilts above the ice.

Space programme

China is a relative latecomer to Antarctic exploration, sending its first exploration team to the remote continent in 1984 and establishing its first research base a year later.

Approximately 30 nations operate permanent research stations in Antarctica including the US, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Britain, France and Argentina.

Argentina, one of the closest countries to Antarctica, has 13 facilities on the continent, more than any other country, according to 2012 data from the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (Comnap).

The US maintains six facilities, while Russia has 12 and Japan five, according to Comnap.

China also is pursuing an ambitious space programme. It most recently garnered global headlines with its first moon rover - Jade Rabbit - deployed on the lunar surface in December from the Chang'e-3 probe.

Late last month, however, state media reported it had experienced a "mechanical control abnormality", leading to speculation the device was in serious trouble.

The landing - the third such soft-landing in history, and the first of its kind since a Soviet Union mission nearly four decades ago - has been a huge source of pride in China, where millions across the country have been charting the rover's accomplishments.

Read more on:    china  |  research  |  space

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/World
 

20 self-made teenage millionaires

From selling lemonade to building webpages, these young entrepreneurs made a pretty fortune!

 
 

Luxury living

Top 10 richest musicians of all time
10 most expensive cars In the world
10 of the most expensive things that will leave your jaw hanging!
Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency towards setting your expectations too high which will result in disappointment. Try not to let your thoughts...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.