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Chinese expedition makes a dash between cyclones in bid for Zhongshan Station
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13:13, February 20, 2008

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Taking advantage of a break between two fierce cyclones, China's Snow Dragon antarctic research vessel left the safety of the Antarctic mainland Tuesday, continuing her journey to Zhongshan Station.

The 17-member crew made a one-day stopover on the mainland's coast Monday to shelter from unfavorable weather conditions, but set sail again early Tuesday after eight hours of arduous ice-breaking.

On her journey east, the ship is trailed by another strong cyclone. But the team decided to set sail because time is running out as a bitter winter is drawing in. The winter will present daunting challenges for the expedition tasked with delivering necessities to China's Zhongshan Station in Antarctica.

The trip follows January's 20-day program of scientific research around Dome A, the Antarctic icecap peak at 4,093 meters above sea level.

The 17 researchers, who successfully scaled Dome A for the second time in history on Jan. 12, are members of China's 24th scientific expedition team to Antarctica.


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