011-07-17 (China Military News cited from Xinhua) — China’s manned deep-diving submersible, the Jiaolong, embarked on a journey on Friday during which it will make a 5,000-meter dive in the Pacific Ocean.
During the dive, the submersible will undergo several operational tests in which it will take photos, shoot video, survey seabeds and take samples from the ocean floor, according to Jin Jiancai, deputy director of the submersible’s diving test program team.The tests will be conducted in the Pacific Ocean in accordance with a contract signed between the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research & Development Association and the International Seabed Authority (ISA).
The submersible is scheduled to spend 47 days at sea, according to a statement from the Ministry of Science and Technology.
A submersible differs from a submarine, as it typically depends on another vessel or facility for support.
The Jiaolong, designed to reach a depth of 7,000 meters, completed 17 dives in the South China Sea between May 31 and July 18 last year, reaching 3,759 meters during its deepest dive.
In the year since the submersible’s last dive, program team members have made several technical improvements to the submersible and its support vessel, Jin said.
Jin said the program team members are “very confident” about the test.
He also stressed that the test will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as the ISA’s rules and regulations.
The Jiaolong is the world’s first manned submersible designed to reach depths of 7,000 meters below sea level, according to Xu Qinan, the submersible’s chief designer.