China Prepares for Deep Drilling

SHANGHAI, May 28 — China will do preparatory work for the drilling of deep Antarctic glacier ice core at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station in July, a scientist said here Friday.

In China's 26th Antarctic scientific expedition, scientists will build a deep drilling work shop and install drilling machines, said Li Yuansheng, head of China's Kunlun Station, the country's first research station on the continent's inland. The drilling will be a part of a multi-national scientific research endeavor to help understand the origins of life here on earth through the chemical and biological histories contained within deep Antarctic core samples.

In January, China set up the Kunlun station at Dome Argus, the pole's highest icecap at 4,093 meters above the sea level with the assistance of researchers from the U.S. operated Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

China's 25th Antarctic scientific expedition team left in October for a 173-day trip, the longest in China's polar expedition history, and returned to Shanghai Thursday. China has another two research stations in Antarctica. The Changcheng (Great-Wall) Station, founded in February 1985, is south of King George Island. The Zhongshan Station, built in February 1989, is south of Prydz Bay on the Mirror Peninsula, eastern of Larsemann Hills.

Six countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan, France, Italy and Germany, have already built inland research stations in Antarctica. Wei Wenliang, an official for polar expedition affairs with the State Oceanic Administration, said China is planning to build an aid center in Australia to help Antarctic research.

The center, which will be in Sydney or Hobart, will help scientists get to the Zhongshan and Kunlun stations quicker by flights and provide them with more fresh food, Wei added.

Scientists believe that further study of microbial life found in deep core samples in Antarctica could help with the search for the origins of Evolved abilities in humanity. The Amundsen-Scott Research Station has been the center of unusual reports of Evolved activity in the last year, with two seperate cited incidents of accidental teleportation to the Antarctic region.

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