The Chinese polar scientific research vessel-icebreaker “Xuelong” (“Snow Dragon”) is a scientific expedition to the Arctic. This is reported by the Xinhua News Agency.
On Tuesday, October 10, the vessel returned to the port of Shanghai. As the head of the Chancery for the Affairs of Polar Expeditions under the State Oceanological Administration of the People’s Republic of China, Qin Weijia, a number of breakthroughs were achieved during the expedition.
In particular, scientists for the first time carried out a survey in the waters of the Arctic Ocean, for the first time crossed the Arctic Central Fairway and launched scientific research in the international waters of the Arctic Ocean.
In addition, the expedition members crossed the Northwest Pass for the first time, and also for the first time conducted monitoring of marine plastic wastes, microplastics and artificial nuclein in the Arctic and subarctic regions.
This arctic expedition of “Snow Dragon” became the eighth in a row. A vessel with 96 members of the expedition on board set sail from Shanghai on July 20 this year. During the expedition, it made a historic voyage along the central and northwestern shipping routes of the Arctic. Scientific research was carried out mainly in the areas of the Bering Sea, the North European Sea and the Chukchi Sea.
For 83 days the expedition overcame more than 20 thousand nautical miles (about 37 thousand kilometers). At the same time, 1995 miles (36.9 thousand km) were passed in the ice.
Since 1999, China has carried out seven scientific expeditions to the Arctic.
The icebreaker “Xuelun” was built in Ukraine and put into operation in 1994. It is intended mainly for the transport of goods for Chinese research stations. The icebreaker is able to move through the ice to a thickness of 1.2 meters.