Nation leads world in deep-sea exploration

2024-03-05 11:24:48China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The manned submersible Shenhai Yongshi, or Deep Sea Warrior, is launched on Saturday for the first exploration mission involving two shipwrecks at a depth of about 1,500 meters in the South China Sea. (Photo/China Daily)

China accounted for more than half the world's crewed deep-sea explorations over the past three years, according to a project insider.

Ye Cong, deputy director of the China Ship Scientific Research Center in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, said on Monday that the nation's three manned deep-sea submersibles — Jiaolong or Sea Dragon; Shenhai Yongshi or Deep-Sea Warrior; and Fendouzhe or Striver — have completed more than 1,100 dives since their commissioning and carried out over 50 percent of the world's total crewed deep-sea expeditions over past three years.

He said Fendouzhe, capable of taking humans to depths exceeding 10,000 meters, has done 230 deep dives, including 25 that took 32 Chinese and foreign scientists to depths of more than 10,000 meters.

It is currently working in the Sunda Trench, in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra, fulfilling a China-Indonesia joint scientific task, Ye said before attending the second session of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which opened in Beijing on Monday afternoon.

He is a member of the CPPCC National Committee, the top political advisory body in China.

Fendouzhe was designed and built by Ye's center, a China State Shipbuilding Corp subsidiary known for its research on the development of deep-sea submersibles.

It set a national depth record of 10,909 meters on Nov 10, 2020, in the Challenger Deep, an 11,000-meter chasm located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.

"In the future, we will further extend the reach of our deep-sea explorations even to waters under glaciers in polar regions," he said.

"We will also establish an omni-dimensional system that will span from skies to seabeds to bolster our knowledge and management of oceans."

Hu Zhen, a senior researcher at the Wuxi center who is also a CPPCC National Committee member, said the center's engineers have begun to develop next-generation technologies for China's future submersibles.

He also said that polar regions have become a new destination for Chinese deep-sea explorers.


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