The China’s 33rd Antarctic Expedition Successfully Completed Its Mission
The 33rd Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition was an important connecting node of Chinese polar expeditions, as well as the starting expedition in the 13th Five-year polar development plan. The expedition adopted the "one ship, four stations" and surround Antarctic voyage mode, and undertook three key tasks. The expedition team which consisted of 256 people carried out the 8 categories of 72 projects.
R/V Xuelong left from Shanghai on November 2nd, 2016. Her journey lasted for 161 days, covering around 31,000 nautical mile. She returned to Shanghai on April 11th, 2017. During the voyage, R/V Xuelong arrived at latitude 78°41′ in the Ross sea waters for the first time, which set a southernmost record in the Antarctic waters among all expedition vessels around the world.
The 33rd Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition achieved many breakthroughs. The fixed wing aircraft "snow Eagle 601" successfully landed in Antarctic Kunlun station, and achieved her first operational flight. It marked the entry of a new era that the Chinese Antarctic expedition initiated the aeroamphibious investigation. The large-scale environmental treatment campaigns which were carried out by the Great Wall Station, the Zhongshan Station and the Kunlun Station had scored remarkable achievements. The volume of waste which was carried back hit a historical high. It started a new chapter of Antarctic environment protection and began the elaborated developing mode of Chinese Antarctic expedition that was concerning more and more on the quality. The site selection of the new station around the Ross Sea area moved on. The comparison of the potential station sites had been completed.