Japan developing 12,000-meter-depth submersible to search seafloor

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-2-25 22:46:04

A research institution in Japan is developing a manned submersible with can dive to depths of 12,000 meters in deep sea to study seafloor, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Wednesday.

The submersible, named Shinkai 12000, is being developed by Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), a Japanese national research institute for marine-earth science and technology.

Japan's current capability rests with Shinkai 6500, which can dive to depths of 6,500 meters.

In 1991, Shinkai 6500 began its mission to study seafloor topography and geology and research deep-sea organisms in the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean as well as the sea around Japan. The total number of dives reached 1,300 in 2012.

The project of Shinkai 12000 is scheduled to be completed in the late 2020s.

According to JAMSTEC, the new submersible will offer a comfy ride for its six-member crew. The craft will be capable of staging two-day missions.

The crew compartment of Shinkai 6500 is made of titanium alloy and has only small port holes for onboard researchers to observe their surroundings. The crew compartment of Shinkai 12000 will be a 2-meter sphere made of toughened glass with a thickness of five to 10 centimeters to increase visibility.

The craft is also featured washroom facilities and a space to rest.

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