China's "Dragon" Sub Dives 3,759 Meters below Sea
    2010-08-26 18:11:34     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao
 

This file photo shows a submersible under construction at an undisclosed location.  [Photo: China Daily]

China said Thursday its domestically-made manned submersible had successfully reached 3,759 meters below sea level with three crew on board, the China News Service reported.

The vessel  achieved the feat during 17 dives from May to July below the South China Sea, the Ministry of Science and Technology and State Oceanic Administration jointly announced.

It was the first time a Chinese submersible vehicle has gone that deep, said the report. A robot was used to plant a Chinese national flag at the bottom of the South China Sea.

China thus became the fifth country to produce a submersible that can withstand depths of more than 3.5 kilometres (2.17 miles) below sea level, following the United States, Russia, France, and Japan, the report said.

The submersible set a record for operating below sea level for 9 hours and 3 minutes, and the equipment on board successfully passed the test and operated at depths of more than 3,000 meters and met the relevant standards, the report said.

The submersible, dubbed "Dragon", has a designed capacity of reaching 7,000 meters below sea level and can cover 99.8 percent of the global oceans, the report said.

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