China submersible Jiaolong descended up to 6,699 meters in the Mariana Trench on Tuesday, recording images of two swimming snailfishes. The Mariana Trench or Marianas Trench is the deepest part of the world’s oceans. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, an average of 200 kilometres (124 mi) to the east of the Mariana Islands, in the Western Pacific East of Philippines.
It is a crescent-shaped scar in the Earth’s crust, and measures about 2,550 km (1,580 mi) long and 69 km (43 mi) wide on average.
More on the Mission
According to China Daily, Tuesday’s mission was Jiaolong’s fourth dive in the trench this year.The dive began at 7:03 a.m. local time and reached the planned depth at 10:21 a.m. where scientists worked for three hours and ten minutes.Jiaolong collected samples of rock, sediment, deep-sea life and sea water in this dive, and recorded images of two swimming snailfishes.
“Research on snailfish, a typical deep-sea species, deepens our understanding on the evolution of deep-sea fishes and their environmental adaptation mechanism,” said scientist Peng Xiaotong.
Jiaolong’s first dive of this year in the world’s deepest known trench took place on May 23, with Xinhua News Agency journalist Liu Shiping descending inside the submersible along with scientists to a depth of 4,811 meters. The second and third dives on May 25 and 27 reached depths of 6,300 meters and 6,544 meters respectively.
More on Jiaolong (submersible)
Jiaolong is a Chinese manned deep-sea research submersible that can dive to a depth of over 7,000 m. It has the greatest depth range of any manned research vehicle in the world, the only manned expeditions to have gone deeper were the dives of the Trieste bathyscaphe (10,916m) in 1960 and the dive of the Deepsea Challenger (10,898m) in 2012, both diving to Challenger Deep.
The general designer is Xu Qinan , a former professor of School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), who also designed many other Chinese submersibles and unmanned underwater vehicles. Xu is now an academician for the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The first deputy general designer is Cui Weicheng , and the deputy general designer was Zhu Weiqing .
On June 27, 2012, the Jiaolong with two oceanauts reached a depth of 7,062 meters (23,169 feet) in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. Previously on June 19, 2012, the Jiaolong reached a depth of 6,965 metres (22,851 feet). It had its first test in South China Sea between May 31 and July 18, 2010, reaching a depth of 3,759 metres (12,333 ft) with three crew.On July 22, 2011, Jiaolong reached a depth of 4,027.31 metres (13,213.0 ft) in northeastern Pacific.
The five-hour mission included chemical, physical and biological research. 17 dives have been completed.Besides China, other countries that have developed deep-water technology include the United States, France, Russia and Japan.So what do you make of this record?