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China's newly-designed scientific research vessel sets sail

By : Xinhua | Published: 2011-December-1

China's newly-designed scientific research ship, the Kexue, or Science, launched on Wednesday in waters off central Hubei province.

The vessel, 99.6 meters long and 17.8 wide, is equipped with a podded electric propulsion system, the first such system for a research ship anywhere in the world, said Yu Jianjun, chief engineer of the project.

The ship also features world-class facilities for water body detection, atmospheric exploration, deep-sea environment exploration and remote sensing information research, according to Yu.

The cruising capacity of the ship reaches 15,000 nautical miles with a maximum speed 15 knots.

Construction of the vessel started last year after approval by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2007. With a total cost of 550 million yuan (86.4 million U.S. dollars), the vessel is expected to be put into use by June 2012, Yu said.

The ship was built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Company Ltd., which is based in Hubei provincial capital Wuhan, and will be operated by the Institute of Oceanology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences upon delivery.

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