BEIJING-Chinese researchers have used a huge floating airship to conduct water vapor observation at an altitude of over 6,200 meters in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

This marks the first time that a floating airship has been used to measure water vapor at such high altitudes.

This huge floating airship, named "Jimu No.1," has a volume of 2,300 cubic meters and contains 1,400 kilograms of helium. Its surface is made of composite fabric, and it can withstand low temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius.

It rose about 3,000 meters vertically, arriving at an altitude of over 6,200 meters above sea level in Linzhi in southeast Tibet earlier this week.

The monitoring project, part of China's second Qinghai-Tibet research mission, was carried out by more than 40 researchers from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research and the Aerospace Information Research Institute of the CAS. It will help researchers understand the source of the water supply and water transmission route in the plateau. Dubbed as the "third pole" and "the water tower of Asia," the plateau provides the water supply for many Asian rivers including the Yangtze, Yellow, Indus and Mekong.

The airship will conduct observation on the Mount Qomolangma and is expected to reach an altitude of over 10,000 meters in the future, according to the CAS.

China encourages use of TCM to fight flu

China is encouraging the public to use traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the fight against the flu.

Experts have given specific advice on the use of TCM and recommended several common TCM products for patients with mild symptoms in a plan issued by the National Health Commission and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Provincial TCM administrative departments have stepped up raising public awareness through traditional and new media platforms as well as organizing experts to visit families and communities.

Experts said TCM is proven effective in preventing and controlling the flu. It also reduces medical costs.