China's research icebreaker Xuelong has taken off from Shanghai, embarking on the country’s 35th Antarctic expedition. The trip will last for more than five months. A team of more than 350 crew members will construct China's fifth Antarctic research station on an island in the Ross Sea, and complete the second stage of the country's Taishan station. The team will build China's observation network in the Antarctic, research marine environmental protection, and improve the environment around the stations. The team will also work on the construction of an airfield and runway on an ice cap near the Zhongshan station. Xuelong is expected to return in April next year.

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