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China's submersible to dive 5000 mts deep in Pacific


The 'Jiaolong' submersible of China.

BEIJING (PTI): China's deep-diving submersible 'Jiaolong', set off on a journey to delve 5,000 meters deep into the Pacific Ocean, topping its 3,759-meter dive last year.

A submersible differs from a submarine, as it typically depends on another vessel or facility for support.

It was loaded on a scientific exploration ship at a Jiangyin port in Jiangsu Province Friday to be taken to Pacific Ocean, Xinhua news agency reported.

'Jiaolong' will spend 47 days out at sea during which it will test the performance and functions of its equipment, including seafloor photography, topographical measurements, and underwater environmental tests, deputy director of the submersible's diving test program team, Jin Jiancai said.

China is the fifth country after US, France, Russia and Japan, to have developed a deep diving submersible.

Buoyancy will be key, if we encounter some problems such as being enlaced by an electric cable, we'll jettison everything we can to ensure the safety of the 'Jiaolong'," vehicle's chief designer Xu Qi'nan, said.

The 'Jiaolong' vessel is the world's first manned vehicle designed to dive to up to 7,000 meters below sea level and can sail in 99.8 per cent of the world's sea areas, Xu added.

The 'Jiaolong' completed 17 dives in the South China Sea from May 31 to July 18 last year, reaching up to 3,759 meters with three crew members on board, media reports said.

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