China's Jiaolong submersible sets for Pacific voyage
                 English.news.cn | 2014-07-04 13:33:34 | Editor: Yang Yi

 



Xiangyanghong 09, carrier of Jiaolong, China's first manned deep-sea submersible, sets sail from Fuzhou, capital of southeast China's Fujian Province, for the submersible's first expedition mission in the 2014-2015 period, July 4, 2014. Jiaolong on Friday embarked on a scientific expedition in the Pacific Ocean. It is scheduled for a voyage in the northwest Pacific Ocean, during which it will research cobalt-rich crusts and life forms inhabiting the bottom of the sea. (Xinhua/Wei Peiquan)

FUZHOU, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Jiaolong, China's first manned deep-sea submersible, on Friday embarked on a scientific expedition in the Pacific Ocean.

Its carrier, Xiangyanghong 09, set sail from Fuzhou, capital of east China's Fujian Province, for the submersible's first expedition mission in the 2014-2015 period.

It is scheduled for a voyage in the northwest Pacific Ocean, during which it will research cobalt-rich crusts and life forms inhabiting the bottom of the sea.

The expedition is also part of China's efforts to perform its obligations in its contract with the International Seabed Authority, said Liu Feng, on-scene commander of the mission.

An underwater "digital torch relay" for the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games will be carried out during the voyage, according to Liu.

The flame was passed on via an application to a mobile phone of a pilot and will be displayed from the bottom of the ocean to the public, Liu said.

A micro-sized remotely operated underwater vehicle called "Longzhu", or "Dragon Ball", will also be carried by Jiaolong for the mission.

Longzhu will be used to photograph the submersible underwater and carry out operations in narrow areas, Liu said.

Crew members also include several scientists as well as a primary school teacher who is on an assignment to promote science among students and schools.

After the voyage, Jiaolong is scheduled for another mission starting later this year in the southwest Indian Ocean to carry out scientific research on polymetallic sulfides.

The sub, named after a mythical dragon, reached 7,062 meters in the Pacific's Mariana Trench in a dive in June 2012.

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