INTERNATIONAL

Dragon in the depths

The Chinese submersible Jiaolong prepares for a test dive in this recent photo. — Photo: AFP

The Chinese submersible Jiaolong prepares for a test dive in this recent photo. — Photo: AFP  

The Jiaolong, a Chinese manned submersible, has successfully reached a depth of 5,057 metres.

The test dive on Tuesday with a three-member crew in international waters of the Pacific Ocean was a complete success, said the State Oceanic Administration (SOA). The successful dive means the Jiaolong is capable of reaching over 70 per cent of the seabeds, said Wang Fei, deputy director of SOA. “It will pave way for a record-breaking 7,000-metre test dive in 2012,” said Mr. Wang.

The deepest dive is by Japan's Shinkai 6500, which reached a depth of 6,527 metres in August 1989.

“At a depth of 5,000 meters, the Jiaolong withstood great pressure amounting to 5,000 tonnes per square metre,” said Mr. Wang.

The Jiaolong is the world's first manned submersible designed to reach a depth of 7,000 metres, according to Xu Qinan, chief designer of the submersible.

The domestically-manufactured Jiaolong, named after a mythical sea dragon, dived to a depth of 4,027 metres in about five hours last Thursday.

China, which initiated the Jiaolong project in 2002, is the fifth country to send a man 3,500 metres below sea level, following the United States, France, Russia and Japan. — Xinhua

Chinese manned submersible reaches a depth of 5,057 metres.

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