Friday, August 17, 2012
First Chinese Icebreaker 'Xue Long' or "Snow Dragon" crosses Northern Ice sea.
First Chinese Icebreaker 'Xue Long' or "Snow Dragon" crosses Northern Ice sea.(ILR).The icebreaker carries the fifth Chinese National Arctic Expedition (Chinare 5) and took the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic for the first time in Chinese history. It took about six weeks to cover the distance of approximately 15,000 km from Quingdao in China to Iceland. The Chinese expedition’s arrival in Iceland marks their first formal visit to an Arctic country and is to help enhance the cooperation of Chinese and Icelandic scientists on polar and marine sciences. The two countries recently established a Framework Agreement on Arctic Cooperation. “It is an excellent example for cooperation between an Arctic and a non-Arctic country,” said Huigen Yang, the expedition leader, at a press conference yesterday. The ship—its name meaning “Snow Dragon”—is the largest non-nuclear powered icebreaker in the world. It is 167 meters long, nearly 23 meters wide and can sail through 1.1 meters of ice with a constant speed of 1.5 knots. Expedition leader Huigen Yang said he was expecting way more ice. "To our surprise, most of the northern sea route was open," he said. The icebreaker returns to China via a route closer to the North Pole.Hmmmm.........How many 'operational' High sea icebreakers has the U.S. left?Read the full story here.