>124M passenger trips during holiday
Total passenger trips made during China's Dragon Boat Festival holiday are expected to reach 124 million, according to official data. The average daily passenger trips will likely exceed 41.23 million during the period, up by 52.5 percent year on year, the Ministry of Transport said Monday. The figure was down by 18.8 percent compared with 2019, the data showed. The Dragon Boat Festival holiday extended from Saturday to Monday this year.
During the three-day holiday, the country's railway sector will likely handle over 31.67 million passenger trips, up by 58.1 percent year on year. The civil aviation sector is expected to see 3.71 million passenger trips, up by 40.1 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
>Over 500 plant species recorded
More than 500 species of plants have been recorded in China's Xisha Islands, it was discovered during a recent campaign to put name tags on the plants. The name-tagging project covers plants on over 10 islands and reefs in the Xisha Islands, including Jinqing Island, Zhaoshu Island, and Ganquan Island, the Hainan Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said.
Since its establishment in 2012, the government of Sansha has introduced a large variety of high-value ornamental plants, which have significantly improved the local ecological and living environment.
Chen Xiaojing, deputy director of the department, said the name-tagging project is of great importance to the science education of the island’s residents and can help promote the city's landscaping work.
>Plans for future space exploration
China is making plans for the future development of its space program, including exploring asteroids and the Jovian system, collecting samples from Mars and exploring the polar region of the moon, an official from the China National Space Administration said on Saturday. Xu Hongliang, speaking for the space agency, said at a press conference that in about the year 2025 China plans to launch a probe to collect samples from a near-Earth asteroid and explore a comet in one mission.
China plans to launch a Mars sample-return mission and a Jovian system exploration mission sometime in about 2030, Xu said.
In addition, China plans to launch the Chang'e-6 and Chang'e-7 lunar probes in the coming five years to explore the environment and resources and collect samples from the polar region of the moon, Xu said.
By the end of 2022, China will have completed the construction of its space station, in which astronauts can stay for prolonged periods to carry out scientific experiments, Xu said.
>New Southern Ocean recognized
Anyone who thought the world had four oceans will now have to think again, after the National Geographic Society announced it would recognize a new Southern Ocean in Antarctica, bringing the global total to five.
National Geographic said the Southern Ocean consists of the waters surrounding Antarctica, out to 60-degrees south latitude.
National Geographic Society geographer Alex Tait said scientists have long known that the waters surrounding Antarctica form a "distinct ecological region defined, by ocean currents and temperatures".
"We think it's really important from an educational standpoint, as well as from a map-labeling standpoint, to bring attention to the Southern Ocean as a fifth ocean," Tait said. "So when students learn about parts of the ocean world, they learn it's an interconnected ocean, and they learn there are these regions called oceans that are really important, and there's a distinct one in the icy waters around Antarctica."
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