Chinese manned submersible Jiaolong explores Mariana Trench

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/5/23 21:28:39

China's manned submersible, Jiaolong, dived into the "Challenger Deep" in the Mariana Trench, the world's deepest known trench, on Tuesday.

The dive began at around 7 am local time, and reached a depth of 4,811 meters three hours later.

Tang Jialing, the chief crew member of Tuesday's operation, said the dive took place at the steeper northern slope of the Mariana's "Challenger Deep," and that the Jiaolong will navigate underwater for two to three kilometers.

The mission is meant to test submersible's technical equipment, including its mechanical arms. Jiaolong will also collect seawater samples, sediments, deep-sea organisms and rocks.

It will then study the mineralogy and geochemistry of sediments and rocks in the area to better understand geological activities. Deep-sea microbes and other life forms will also be included in the research, Tang said.

In addition to allowing the crew to closely observe the seabed, the mission will take video sand photos of the seafloor.

Wu Changbin, commander of the expedition's third stage, said the Jiaolong will survey the abyssopelagic zone to learn more about that adaptive mechanism in extreme environments of marine life. 

This zone remains in perpetual darkness and never receives daylight.

The 38th oceanic scientific expedition began on February 6. The Jiaolong's first two stages explored the northwestern Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

It reached a maximum depth of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.


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