China to Develop More Deepsea Submersibles
China plans to develop two deepsea manned submersibles able to reach a depth of 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) by around 2020.
China's deepsea manned submersible Jiaolong, which set a record by diving to a depth of 7,062 meters during tests in the Mariana Trench in June 2012, will officially begin operation this year.
The remotely-controlled vehicles would be able to reach the bottom of Challenger Deep, the deepest known location in the world's oceans.
China also plans to develop other high-tech devices for deep-sea exploration and mining. China has expanded its international seabed mining area to 86,000 square kilometers (33,000 square miles) over the last five years, the Ministry of Land and Resources said this week, as a result of deep-sea exploration equipment such as the manned deep-sea submersible, Jiaolong, and a well-established scientific expedition system, the ministry said.
Last year, Chinese scientists broke two world records at the Mariana Trench. The trench is about 2,550 kilometers (1,580 miles) long and around 69 kilometers (43 miles) wide. It reaches a maximum-known depth of 10,994 meters (36,070 feet) – which is more than Mount Everest at 8,850 meters.
China became the first country to collect the artificial seismic stratigraphy of the Challenger Deep, the deepest section of the trench. China also set a new world diving record for underwater gliders at 6,329 meters (20,764 feet) with Hai Yi, a glider designed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The previous recorder holder was a U.S. glider at 6,000 meters.
The scientists also sampled snailfish in the Yap Trench at a depth of 7,884 meters (25,866 feet), a record depth for China for sampling fish.