(Yicai Global) Oct. 14 -- China's first domestically built icebreaking ship, Xuelong 2, will depart Shenzhen tomorrow as scientists conduct the country's 36th Antarctic expedition.
The vessel will travel alongside Xuelong -- a Chinese cargo ship turned icebreaker -- and is scheduled to return to China between March 20 and March 31 next year, Xinhua News Agency reported today.
The expedition will make full use of ships, sea ice, oceans, land, air, and research stations to conduct multidisciplinary observations of land, sea, the atmosphere and ice, said Qin Weijia, director of the State Oceanic Administration's Polar Expedition Office. The researchers will also prepare to set up a new base on Inexpressible Island, he added.
At 122.5 meters long, Xuelong 2 has a designed displacement of 13,996 tons and a range of 20,000 knots, and can break ice up to 1.5 meters thick and snow up to 0.2 meters deep at speeds of around two to three knots per hour.
Editor: James Boynton