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China's third Arctic expedition team heads for Arctic Ocean
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19:45, August 01, 2008

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The icebreaker Xuelong, the carrier for China's third scientific Arctic expedition, weighed anchor on Friday and is sailing toward the Arctic Ocean to continue its journey.

The Xuelong, carrying some 110 scientists, set sail at 08:50 local time (20:50 GMT Thursday) after spending more than 80 hours anchored in a stormy sea off the Nome port in Alaska.

The Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon," dropped anchor off the port on Sunday after accomplishing its comprehensive exploration tasks in the Bering Sea, a northward extension of the Pacific Ocean between Siberia and Alaska.

The icebreaker had been scheduled to sail out on Wednesday after it could welcome aboard 9 foreign scientists and replenish supplies.

But continued bad weather and rough seas prevented the foreign scientists from boarding the ship and supplies were also unable to be loaded.

On Thursday, all the 9 foreign scientists finally boarded the icebreaker and part of the supplies were shipped aboard, before the rest of the cargo was loaded the next day.

In the Arctic Ocean, the team will conduct comprehensive observation and research on sea waters, sea ice and the atmosphere in some sea areas during the 75-day expedition.

Source: Xinhua

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