China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) announced on Tuesday, July 26, that an undersea craft named Jiaolong, which carried three crew members, reached 5,038 meters (16,591 feet) below sea level in a test dive in international waters in the northeastern Pacific. The official Xinhua news agency quoted its chief engineer, Xu Qinan, who said that it is equipped with the most advanced technology, some imported from other countries, which allows the craft to freely navigate on the seabed.
Jiaolong, meaning mythical sea dragon in Chinese, was designed to reach a maximum depth of 7,000 meters. SOA said it is capable of reaching more than 70 percent of the planet’s seabed. The project, launched in 2002, enables China to be the fifth country, after the U.S., France, Russia, and Japan, to possess deep-sea exploration technologies.
Source: Xinhua, July 26, 2011.