Jiaolong starts last dive in Mariana Trench
Updated: 2012-06-30 10:27
ABOARD XIANGYANGHONG 09 - China's manned submersible, Jiaolong, began its 6th and last dive in the Mariana Trench Saturday morning, targeting a depth between 6,900 to 7,100 meters below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
The Jiaolong set a national dive record on Wednesday after reaching 7,062 meters below sea level during its fifth dive into the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world's oceans.
After arriving at the area earlier this month, the Jiaolong had succeeded in reaching depths of 6,671, 6,965, 6,963 and 7,020 meters in its first fourth dives from June 15 to 24, easily surpassing the previous national record of 5,188 meters it set last July.
The Jiaolong enabled China to join the ranks of deep-sea faring countries. The United States, Japan, France and Russia currently lead the world in the development of deep-sea exploration technology, each possessing their own submersibles and support bases.