China plans to send men 7,000 metres below sea level

March 9th, 2009 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 9 (Xinhua) China is working on an ambitious ocean exploration programme that may send men 7,000 metres deep into the ocean.
Sun Zhihui, director of the State Oceanic Administration, Monday said that a deep-sea manned submersible vessel for the mission has been assembled last year and the test would begin this year.

If successful, the China-made submersible vessel would be the first manned vehicle to reach such a depth. So far, manned submersible vessels could only descend to 6,500 metres below the sea level.

According to Sun, the submersible vessel could carry a crew of up to three people, and would play an important role in deep-sea exploration of natural resources.

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