The Jiaolong manned deep-sea submersible on Monday completed a deep-sea dive in the South China Sea as part of an ongoing mission.
The Jiaolong was unloaded from the Xiangyanghong 09 oceanographic vessel and began its dive around 10 a.m., returning to the vessel around 4:30 p.m. The submersible and its crew of three dove to a depth of about 1,400 meters during the dive.
The crew included Ye Cong, chief designer of the Jiaolong and an employee of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., Yang Bo, a researcher from the Institute of Acoustics under Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Liu Kaizhou from the Shenyang Institute of Automation under the CAS.
Liu Feng, chief commander of the mission, said the success of the dive confirmed the submersible's ability to perform reliably.
"The discovery of multiple sea bed dwellers, such as mussels and spider crabs, will help to support further research in the South China Sea," Liu said.
The submersible left east China's city of Jiangyin on Monday to begin a 113-day-long mission that will include experiments designed to test its positioning system, as well as biological surveys and geological sampling to be conducted in the Pacific Ocean.
The Jiaolong set a new dive record after reaching a depth of 7,062 meters in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench in June 2012. The current mission marks the start of a five-year trial period for the Jiaolong before it goes into regular operation.(Xinhua News Agency June 17, 2013)