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Jun 12 2012

The Chinese are going deep

The Chinese have their sights set on the high frontier, but this week they’re looking to another unexplored realm intent on setting records there too:

(Xinhuanet) — The Xiangyanghong 09 ship carrying China’s manned deep-sea submersible Jiaolong arrived at the designated dive area of the Mariana Trench on Monday morning, where it will attempt the world’s first 7,000-meter dive. The Jiaolong, depending on local weather and sea conditions, will dive six times, deeper and deeper, to try a new dive record.

The first dive will challenge the depth of over 5,000 meters, but less than 6,200 meters. The fifth and sixth dives are scheduled to challenge the depth of 7,000 meters.

That is an impressive goal, any nation or org that can pull it off should be widely applauded for coping with the design challenges in an unforgiving, ultra deep sea environment. But as noted in comments, how would a 7 km dive be a record exactly?

7 comments

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  1. 1
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Inspired by James Cameron’s recent jaunt maybe?

    See :

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17503395

    to refresh your memories from March this year.

  2. 2
    Deen

    The world’s first 7000m dive? In the light of Cameron’s dive that went to 11km, as StevoR linked to, surely that can’t be right?

  3. 3
    Sean Boyd

    According to MSNBC, this is about the bragging rights of nations, not mere filmmakers.

    China has announced that it is ready to send a manned submersible 23,000 feet (7,000 meters) down in the ocean, a trip that would make the country the proud owner of the deepest diving state-owned craft on Earth.

    In other words, meh, it’s been done. By the guy who made “Titanic.”

  4. 4
    Deen

    Actually, Cameron wasn’t the first to go there. The first was the Trieste, which reached 10,911m in 1960, and was owned by the US Navy. Doesn’t that count as a “state-owned craft”?

  5. 5
    Trebuchet

    And the Trieste, though no longer active, is on display at a Navy museum, so it’s still state-owned.

    One of my favorite things about the Trieste is that the designer, Auguste Piccard, was from Switzerland. Which is not known for its deep seas!

  6. 6
    Nentuaby

    One of my favorite things about the Trieste is that the designer, Auguste Piccard, was from Switzerland. Which is not known for its deep seas!

    I see that kind of comment a lot, and the thinking behind it kind of puzzles me. What, so people people born in California or Guam get early childhood exposure to the design challenges of ultradeep submersibles? o.0

  7. 7
    bad Jim

    Piccard was a balloonist, and the Trieste is actually a sort of balloon design.

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