China opens fifth Antarctic research station

By ZHAO LEI | | Updated: 2024-02-07 10:55
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China's fifth scientific outpost in Antarctica, Qinling Station, opened on Wednesday morning.

The research facility, on Inexpressible Island in Terra Nova Bay, can accommodate 80 people in summertime and 30 in wintertime, according to the Polar Research Institute of China, which was in charge its construction.

The station has an area of 5,244 square meters and an external shape resembling the Southern Cross constellation, a unique design to honor Zheng He, a legendary Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) admiral, mariner and diplomat, it said.

All of its large components were built in China with inner hardware already mounted and then transported to Inexpressible Island for assembly.

Engineers used lightweight, high-strength materials on the station, making it able to resist temperatures as low as -60 C and the corrosive environment on the island.

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