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Icebreaker Xuelong returns after Antarctic expedition

(Xinhua)

14:48, April 09, 2012

China's research vessel Xuelong is anchored at a port in east China's Shanghai Municipality, April 7, 2012, after returning from its latest polar expedition. The crew travelled some 28,000 nautical miles in five months, with 47 tasks performed during the expedition. (Xinhua/Pei Xin)

SHANGHAI, April 8 (Xinhua) -- China's icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon", returned to its Shanghai base on Sunday after completing the country's 28th Antarctic expedition.

The vessel received a brief welcoming ceremony at the base dock, organized by the State Oceanic Administration and the Shanghai municipal government.

It arrived at its designated anchorage area at the mouth of the Yangtze River on Thursday night.

Xuelong, an A-2 class icebreaker capable of breaking ice 1.2 meters thick, left the port of Tianjin on Nov. 3, 2011, and had covered an estimated 28,000 nautical miles over the 163-day course.

During the expedition, Xuelong delivered supplies to the country's Antarctic stations, and scientists aboard conducted various scientific research tasks, including polar environmental survey and the installation of an Antarctica survey telescope.

Scientists also carried out large-scale oceanic researches, collecting about 8,500 samples and basic data from surveys on 46 Antarctic stations.

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