Chinese submersible "Jiaolong" attempts 5,000m dive

14:47, July 21, 2011      

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China's deep-sea submersible, Jiaolong, is performing an experimental exploration mission to reach depths of 5,000 meters in the northeast Pacific.

This would set a new record for a manned submersible dive. The vessel entered the water four hours ago. So far it has dived more than 4000 meters. Crew members have sent back to the control center photos they took during the diving process. The vessel is expected to resurface in about one hour. Jiaolong's main missions, include physical, chemical and biological research, as well as exploration and deep-sea salvage.

The vehicle is the world's deepest-diving manned submersible, designed to reach depths of 7,000 meters. The difference between a submersible and a submarine, typically depends on the support from another facility or vessel. In this case, a ship, The Ocean-6 helped Jiaolong in previous tests, conducting surveys of the area ahead of the dive. Jiaolong completed 17 dives in the South China Sea between May 31st and July 18th last year, reaching depths of over 3700 meters at its deepest dive.

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