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Manned sub prepares for S. China Sea diving


09:53, June 14, 2013

ABOARD XIANGYANGHONG 09, June 13 (Xinhua) -- China's manned deep-sea submersible Jiaolong arrived at the north of the South China Sea early Thursday and was preparing for its diving operation, scientists said.

The Xiangyanghong 09 oceanographic vessel carrying Jiaolong reached a cold spring operation area where the water depth is no more than 1,000 meters amid high waves and strong gales. Scientists installed and tested research devices.

"What we can do now is preparatory work before bad maritime weather comes. When sea conditions meet the requirements for diving and all equipment and personnel are ready, the diving operation will be carried out soon," said Liu Feng, the chief commander of the mission.

It was expected that the journey would start its first operation in a seamount area with a water depth of 3,000 to 4,000 meters. But the forecast of bad sea conditions there forced Jiaolong to start experiments in the cold spring area first.

Jiaolong left the country's eastern port city of Jiangyin on Monday for its first voyage of experimental application with 14 scientists. There will be two aquanauts and one scientist on board for each submergence.

The 113-day-long mission will include experiments on Jiaolong's positioning system, as well as deep-sea ecological and geological surveys in the South China Sea, biological surveying and geological sampling in the northeast and northwest Pacific Ocean.

Jiaolong set a new dive record after reaching a depth of 7,062 meters in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench in June 2012. The current mission will mark the start of a five-year trial period for Jiaolong before it starts regular operation.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YaoChun、Liang Jun)

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