Jiaolong, a Chinese deep-sea submersible, has returned from its six-week mission in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean and received new orders for another research dive.
According to ChinaDaily, the submersible reached a depth of 7,062 meters in June in the Mariana Trench. Thanks to this technological breakthrough, China now has the capability to explore 99 percent of the ocean floor.
The submersible will conduct its next mission in the South China Sea in April and May next year. It will explore the seabed’s changing environment and its influence on the climate.
Jiaolong is in operation about 150 days a year because of its support ship, the Xiangyanghong 09, which will be replaced by an advanced vessel.
“Work will start on the new support ship for Jiaolong in 2013 and be finished, we hope, in 2015,” Jin Jiancai, secretary-general of the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association, said.
China has two seabed areas for resource exploration and mining approved by the International Seabed Authority.
A deep-sea research base will also be set up in Qingdao and is expected to be completed by 2015.
Subsea World News Staff , July 18, 2012