After completing the ice-breaking test at the Antarctic Zhongshan Station and the comprehensive survey at the Astronaut Sea, the “Xuelong 2” polar scientific icebreaker carried members of the 36th Antarctic Expedition across China through the “Roaring Westerly Belt”. 30 minutes (22:30 on the 20th Beijing time) smoothly docked at Cape Town, South Africa.
This is the second time the “Snow Dragon 2” made its first voyage to Antarctica crossed the westerly belt. Cape Town Port is its second outer port. “Snow Dragon 2” docked at Hobart, Australia in November last year. After changing personnel and replenishing supplies there, it crossed the westerly belt and arrived at Zhongshan Station.
During the operation of Zhongshan Station, “Xuelong 2” completed the icebreaking task of the nearby channel, opening a section of about 14 nautical miles (about 26 kilometers) for the unloading of “Xuelong” ice. Subsequently, “Xuelong 2” completed the ice-breaking test in the Prydz Bay waters near Zhongshan Station. According to the design, “Xuelong 2” uses the bow and stern two-way ice breaking technology, and the two-way ice breaking has the ability to continuously break 1.5 meters of ice and 0.2 meters of snow at a speed of 2 to 3 knots.
The comprehensive scientific expedition for the astronaut sea is the first ocean expedition carried out by the “Snow Dragon 2”. “Snow Dragon 2” started from Prydz Bay, all the way west to the west of the astronaut sea, the operating sea spanned 40 latitudes (33 to 73 degrees east longitude) and traversed 5 latitudes (62 to 67 degrees south Degree), completed the survey of 83 stations in 9 sections, and obtained a batch of precious data and samples.