Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


China opens 4th Antarctic research station

11 February 2014, 10:51

Beijing - China's fourth Antarctic research station - the flying saucer-shaped Taishan - has officially opened, in another step for the country's exploration ambitions in both Earth and space.

The station, named for one of China's five sacred mountains, sits at an altitude of 2 600m between China's Zhongshan and Kunlun stations, according to the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

The site's average annual temperature is -36.6°C and construction began on 28 December.

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported at the weekend that President Xi Jinping offered written congratulations, calling scientific research in the frozen continent important for exploring nature and developing mankind.

State media announced in December that workers were on their way to construct the facility to be used during summer for research into "geology, glaciers, geomagnetism and atmospheric science", saying its main building would be shaped "like a Chinese lantern". A fifth station is also being planned, reports said.

Pictures of the Taishan facility released by Xinhua show a 12-sided structure raised on stilts above the ice.

Space programme

China is a relative latecomer to Antarctic exploration, sending its first exploration team to the remote continent in 1984 and establishing its first research base a year later.

Approximately 30 nations operate permanent research stations in Antarctica including the US, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Britain, France and Argentina.

Argentina, one of the closest countries to Antarctica, has 13 facilities on the continent, more than any other country, according to 2012 data from the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (Comnap).

The US maintains six facilities, while Russia has 12 and Japan five, according to Comnap.

China also is pursuing an ambitious space programme. It most recently garnered global headlines with its first moon rover - Jade Rabbit - deployed on the lunar surface in December from the Chang'e-3 probe.

Late last month, however, state media reported it had experienced a "mechanical control abnormality", leading to speculation the device was in serious trouble.

The landing - the third such soft-landing in history, and the first of its kind since a Soviet Union mission nearly four decades ago - has been a huge source of pride in China, where millions across the country have been charting the rover's accomplishments.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...