China attempts dive to 5,000m: state media

July 25, 2011
The sun rises behind clouds over the Pacific Ocean. A Chinese submersible embarked on what the crew hoped would be the country's deepest manned dive ever Tuesday, state media reported, as it seeks to exploit the vast resources of the ocean floor.

A Chinese submersible embarked on what the crew hoped would be the country's deepest manned dive ever Tuesday, state media reported, as it seeks to exploit the vast resources of the ocean floor.

The Jiaolong undersea craft -- named after a mythical sea dragon -- set off on the test dive in the northeastern Pacific in the early hours, the official Xinhua news said, citing the State Oceanic Administration.

Chinese technical capabilities have gathered pace in recent decades, exemplified by a fast-growing space programme that in 2003 made just the third nation to conduct .

The craft is designed to reach a maximum depth of 7,000 metres and it carried three people to 4,027 metres below sea level in a test on Thursday.

But its attempt to reach 5,000 metres the following day was postponed due to unfavourable sea conditions.

The Jiaolong's range theoretically gives China access to nearly all of the world's deep-sea areas, and Xinhua quoted the submersible's chief designer Xu Qinan as saying its "state-of-art" digital underwater communication systems and undersea mobility systems allowed it to "move back and forth easily under the sea".

Although much of the craft's components were produced in China, some had to be imported from abroad such as the underwater high-definition video-shooting and transmission equipment, Xu told Xinhua.

The deepest ever conducted was by the , which reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench -- the deepest point in the world's oceans at 11,000 metres -- in 1960 in a manned undersea craft.

China has said its development of technology is aimed at scientific research and the peaceful exploration and use of natural resources.

The country has pushed hard in recent years to obtain oil, minerals and other natural resources needed to fuel its growth.

Explore further: China sub makes first dive to below 4,000m

Related Stories

China sub makes first dive to below 4,000m

July 21, 2011

A Chinese submersible conducted the country's deepest manned dive ever Thursday in the latest milestone for China's deep-sea ambitions as it seeks to exploit the vast resources of the ocean floor.

China names asteroids after astronauts

March 19, 2007

Authorities at the Purple Mountain Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have named two asteroids after Chinese astronauts.

Recommended for you

Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores

January 23, 2017

When spring comes to the Arctic, the breakup of the cold winter ice sheets starts at the surface with the formation of melt ponds. These pools of melted snow and ice darken the surface of the ice, increasing the amount of ...

New findings on carbon cycle feed climate research

January 23, 2017

A Florida State University researcher is taking a deep dive into the carbon cycle and investigating how carbon moves from the ocean surface to greater depths and then remains there for hundreds of years.

Study finds parrotfish are critical to coral reef health

January 23, 2017

An analysis of fossilized parrotfish teeth and sea urchin spines by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego showed that when there are more algae-eating fish on a reef, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.