Great Wall Station (Antarctica)
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The Great Wall Station (simplified Chinese: 长城站; traditional Chinese: 長城站; pinyin: Chángchéng Zhàn) was the first Chinese research station in Antarctica and opened on 20 February 1985. It lies on the Fildes Peninsula on King George Island, and is about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) from the Chilean Frei Montalva Station, and 960 kilometres (600 mi) from Cape Horn. The station is sited on ice-free rock, about 10 metres (33 ft) above sea level.
Great Wall Station
Great Wall Station
|Location in Antarctica||Fildes Peninsula|
King George Island
|Administered by||Polar Research Institute of China|
|Established||20 February 1985|
|Elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|Website||Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration|
In 1984, China organized its first scientific expedition to Antarctica, and Guo Kun was named the leader of the 591-member expedition team. The team departed Shanghai on 20 November 1984 on two ships, the Xiang Yang Hong 10 and the J121, and arrived at King George Island off the coast of Antarctica on 30 December. A main part of their mission was to construct China's first antarctic base, the Great Wall Station. As the Xiang Yang Hong 10 was not an icebreaker, the team must leave before the end of the antarctic summer and had only a short window of opportunity to complete their mission. Under Guo's supervision, the team worked 16 to 17 hours a day in often severe weather conditions, and completed the construction in only 40 days. The station was opened on 14 February 1985.
In summer, the station holds up to 40 people; in winter, 14. The station's No. 1 Building, erected in 1985, lies at the centre of the station and has a total floor area of 175 square metres (1,880 sq ft). It marks the beginning of China’s presence in Antarctica and its Antarctic research program.
In 2012, the Antarctic Treaty System designated two sites at the station as Historic Sites and Monuments in Antarctica following nominations by China: a monolith erected to commemorate the establishment of the station and the station's No.1 Building.
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