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China begins deep-sea probe in South China Sea

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-25 16:31

ONBOARD SHIP XIANGYANGHONG 09 -- Chinese scientists embarked on a deep-sea mission in the South China Sea on Tuesday, the beginning of the second stage of China's 38th oceanic expedition.

China's manned submersible Jiaolong with her crew of scientists arrived in the location aboard the mother ship Xiangyanghong 09 on Tuesday.

The submersible is expected to conduct its first South China Sea dive this year on Wednesday if the weather conditions allow, according to Wu Changbin, general commander of the second stage of the expedition.

During the mission, which lasts until May 13, scientists hope to choose a site for experimenting the collection of polymetallic nodules and complete geological and biological surveys.

The 38th oceanic scientific expedition started on Feb 6. Jiaolong completed a dive in the northwestern Indian Ocean earlier this year in the mission's first stage. It will also conduct surveys in the Yap Trench and the Mariana Trench in the third stage.

Named after a mythical dragon, Jiaolong reached its deepest depth of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.

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