Chinese engineers finalize the world's first manned submersible capable of conducting complex investigations at the bottom of the deepest ocean abyss, the Mariana Trench.
The engineers of the China Ship Scientific Research Center in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, a subsidiary of the state shipbuilding conglomerate China State Shipbuilding Corp, they have assembled the structure of the deep immersion submersible and are currently installing equipment inside, he explained Liu Jiarui, Project manager in the science and technology section of the center, cited by Diario del Pueblo Online.
Its objective is to complete the electric submersible, which has not yet been named, before the end of the year and then start testing on a lake in Wuxi before the ship begins testing at sea, said in the Marintec China 2019, an exhibition of marine technology that opened in Shanghai this Tuesday.
In 2021, the submersible will be delivered to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and it will be used to carry out manned expeditions in the Mariana Trench, he said.
First to bring humans 10,000 meters deep
Liu said the submersible would be the "first capable of carrying humans 10,000 meters underwater to perform scientific missions"and added that almost all the devices and technologies of the ship were developed by Chinese researchers on their own.
The scientists said that the previous submersible trips to the bottom of the Mariana Trench were made by simpler vessels unable to carry out complex investigations.
Researchers from some 30 national institutes of China State Shipbuilding Corp and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have participated in the project, he said.
The project manager said designers and engineers overcame a lot of difficulties in building the sophisticated submersible equipment, such as the titanium alloy-based pressure sphere that holds the crew and ultra-deep communication devices.
"Many devices in the submersible have undergone extensive tests to verify that they can withstand ultra high pressure 10,000 meters below the surface," said Liu.
Once the ship enters formal operations, it will take three crew members in each deep dive operation, which can last up to 10 hours. By allowing the ascent and descent, the crew will be able to perform around two hours of scientific tasks at a depth of more than 10,000 meters, he said.