Icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon" prepares to leave for China's 26th scientific expedition to the Antarctica, in Shanghai, east China, on Oct. 11, 2009.
With hundreds of people waving hands and saying goodbye, Chinese scientists left Shanghai Sunday morning for the country's 26th scientific expedition to the Antarctica.
Chen Lianzeng, deputy director of the National Bureau of Oceanography (NBO), declared at 10:10 a.m. the start of China's 26th expedition to the Antarctica.
A group of 251 scientists, workers and logistics staff from China, Australia and Russia began the half-year-long research expedition in the icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon."
During the trip, two exploration teams would be sent to the inner land of Antarctica.
One would head to China's Kunlun Station located at Dome A, the highest point on the continent at 4,093 meters above sea level, where more research equipment would be installed for astronomical observation.