China’s Research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, reached the Australian port of Fremantle on Friday in the country’s 32nd Antarctic expedition.
The vessel left a Shanghai dock on Nov. 7.
A team of 277 members aged between 22 and 61 from more than 80 domestic institutions will make the 159-day trip of 30,000 nautical miles.
During the mission, researchers will conduct the final survey for the country’s fifth Antarctic station site at Victoria Land on the Ross Sea.
The survey includes mapping the site and assessing the ecological and environmental impacts.
The vessel is expected to reach the Antarctic on Dec. 8.
In this expedition, China’s first fixed-wing aircraft for polar use will conduct trial flights around Larsemann Hills, Grove Mountains and the Kunlun Station and carry out airborne remote sensing and telemetry tasks.