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China ‘successfully’ tests 1st-ever drone delivery on Mt. Everest




China on Wednesday said it has “successfully” completed the first-ever drone delivery tests on Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, from the Nepali side, paving the way for facilitating high-altitude mountaineering, emergency rescue and environmental protection operations, state media reported.

A DJI FlyCart 30 was used in the April tests, during which three oxygen bottles and 1.5 kilograms of other supplies were flown from the Base Camp (at an altitude of 5,364 meters or 17,598.43 feet) to Camp 1 (at about 6,000m or 19,685ft) of the world's highest peak, also known as Mt. Qomolangma in China, and trash was carried down on the return trip, Beijing-based Xinhua News reported.

The drone could carry 15kg of supplies between the camps in 12 minutes for a round trip, day or night, according to the Chinese drone maker DJI.

During the tests, FlyCart 30 flew as high as 6,191.8m (20,314ft) on Mt. Everest situated on the border of Nepal and China and could carry a 15kg payload steadily at an altitude of 6,000 meters.

Read also: Nepal sherpa scales Everest for record 30th time

"The ability to safely transport equipment, supplies and waste by drone has the potential to revolutionise Mount Qomolangma mountaineering logistics, facilitate trash clean-up efforts and improve safety for all involved," said Christina Zhang, senior corporate strategy director at DJI.

Following the tests, a Nepali drone company was contracted to establish drone delivery operations on Mount Everest from May 22, the drone maker said.

The DJI drone was used to bring down trash like ropes and ladders.

"We plan to use it on Mount Ama Dablam" in the fall climbing season, said Jagat Prasad Bhusal, chief administrative officer of Nepal's Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, where Mt. Everest is situated.

The 6,812m (22,349ft) high Mt. Ama Dablam lies in the eastern Himalayan range of Nepal.