China’s New Manned Submersible to Dive 4,500 Meters Deep

| Apr 15, 2017 09:26 AM EDT

China's Manned Deep-sea Research Submersible Jiaolong

China's new manned submersible consisting of 90 percent parts manufactured by the country's scientists will carry out research on earth's seabeds as deep as 4,500 meters under the sea.

This new submersible is in the later stages of development and will be delivered to the Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering under the Chinese Academy of Sciences later this year. 

China has been trying to reach the deepest known points in the world's oceans in search of precious metals with manned submersibles. 

The country is developing an 11,000-meter deep-sea submersible that is scheduled for deployment in 2021, according to Yan Kai, a director of the China Ship Scientific Research Centre.

Completely being designed and made in China, this submersible is equipped with five observation windows and can last underwater for 12 hours.

However, the new submersibles will face challenges in areas such as pressure-resistant materials, design, energy and telecommunications. 

Yan said that the submersible is part of the Jiaolong group, whose manned device set China's record of reaching 7,062 meters deep in the Pacific Oceans Mariana Trench in 2012.

Earlier this month, one of the Jiaolong submersibles operating in the northwestern Indian Ocean descended to a new depth of 3,117 meters below sea level and collected a variety of samples.

Yan said the dive boosted the confidence of Chinese scientists in developing even more sophisticated devices for more record-setting dives, such as reaching the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the known deepest part of the ocean which is at a depth of around 11,000 meters. 

Such far-reaching submersibles will offer new hopes of setting up deep-sea labs, where biological, medical and genetic research can be conducted and allow more exploration of mineral, oil and gas resources.

There are also a series of submersibles with a range of 1,000 to 2,000 meters deep that are being planned.

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