With James Cameron’s record breaking solo dive to the Mariana Trench now faded into media obscurity, it is now up to the Chinese to further push interest in ocean exploration and technology.
China’s Jiaolong, has arrived at the Mariana Trench for a series of six dives. The Xiang Yang Hong ship carrying China’s three manned deep-sea submersible Jiaolong, arrived at the designated dive area of the Mariana Trench Monday morning. The submersible will attempt the country’s first 22,965 foot (7,000 meter) dive.
The first dive will challenge the depth of just over 16,404 feet (5,000 meters), with the final dives scheduled for a deeper 22,965 foot (7,000 meters). The six dives will test various functions and performances of the manned submersible, with each dive lasting 8 to 12 hours. The Jiaolong (named after a dragon from Chinese mythology) succeeded in diving 17,020 feet (5,188 meters) in the Pacific Ocean last July, enabling China to conduct scientific surveys in up to 70 percent of the world’s seabed areas.
The deep-sea dive comes as China plans to launch a spacecraft in an attempt for its first manned space docking later this month, part of its efforts to establish a permanent space station by 2020.
The expedition may not be as deep as Cameron’s or the 1960 Trieste, but deep ocean exploration and technical innovations are always welcome, hopefully the western press will give over some space to these much needed and inspirational adventures.
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