Mon, Oct 12, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese scientists join Chinese Antarctic trip

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Three Taiwanese scientists joined a Chinese expedition to Antarctica for the first time yesterday aboard Chinese polar research vessel Xuelong, which is also carrying researchers from Australia and Russia.

The three Taiwanese scientists are Hsu Ting-wei (許廷煒) from Cheng Shiu University in Kaohsiung County, and Kuo Fu-wen (郭富雯) and Lin Chia-hsing (林家興) from the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pingtung County. The team will focus on marine biology research, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The icebreaker Xuelong left Shanghai’s Pudong port around 10am carrying 251 scientists, workers and logistics staff from China, Taiwan, Australia and Russia on an 180-day research expedition to the South Pole.

It is China’s 26th scientific expedition to Antarctica and its largest in terms of the number of personnel on board the research ship.

The scientists are expected to complete 59 research programs during the expedition — the highest number to be attempted by China on a single mission, Xinhua reported. During the trip, two exploration teams will be sent inland. One will head to China’s Kunlun Station located at Dome A, the highest point on the continent at 4,093m above sea level, where more research equipment will be installed for astronomical observation.

The other team will be sent to the Grove Mountains 400km away from the Zhongshan Station to collect meteoric stones, and conduct other scientific research.

From 1998 to 2006, China has made four trips to the Grove Mountains for scientific research and has collected 9,834 meteoroites, the third largest collection in the world.

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