BEIJING—A Chinese deep-sea submersible dived to 6,671 meters in the Mariana Trench, beating the 6,527 meters achieved by Japan’s manned research submersible Shinkai 6500 in 1989.
The Chinese vessel, called Jiaolong, reached a depth of 5,188 meters last year, and its three crew members are aiming to descend more than 7,000 meters during the current expedition, which started on June 15.
Although submersibles have gone to much greater depths, the Chinese and Japanese vessels boast the greatest depth ranges of current, state-owned manned research vessels.
Media reports in China said the crew of the Jiaolong contacted the surface from a depth of 6,000 meters and wished China’s Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft a successful mission. The Shenzhou-9 is due to launch on June 16 and dock with the Tiangong-1, an unmanned orbiting space lab.
The China Central Television aired a combined news report on the spacecraft launch and Jiaolong’s mission, with live images from the dive site.
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