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China Daily Website

Record dive planned for submersible on June 14

Updated: 2012-06-13 06:46
( Xinhua)

ABOARD XIANGYANGHONG - China's manned deep-sea submersible, Jiaolong, will attempt a new dive as part of a bid to go down 7,000 meters into the Mariana Trench on the morning of June 14, according to mission headquarters.

If water and weather conditions are favorable, the submersible and its three crew, Ye Cong, Cui Weicheng and Yang Bo, will move into the dive site to test for seawater parameters and install kentledge (ballast) at 2 or 3 am Beijing time (1800 GMT or 1900 GMT) on June 14.

Everyone should be ready by 7 am (2300 GMT), an hour before the actual dive, Liu Xincheng, an on-site official, told Xinhua.

The first dive will reach a depth of 5,000 meters and last eight hours.

"This will be the first dive attempt of the 7,000 meter dive mission," Liu said onboard the Xiangyanghong 09, the submersible's oceanographic mother ship, "and also the first dive Jiaolong will take after its successful dive to 5,188 meters last July."

"Much remains uncertain. If everthing goes well with the 5,000-meter dive, we hope to go deeper," he said.

The team will analyze data retrieved from the first dive to identify any malfunctions and prepare for possible problems before finalizing the plan for the second dive.

The Xiangyanghong 09 is currently 200 nautical miles (370.4 kilometers) southwest of the designated dive zone, where it has been waiting for tropical storm "Guchao" to clear the dive zone before moving into the area.