A Chinese research vessel departed from the eastern coastal city of Qingdao on Monday, kicking off comprehensive ocean testing prior to the country's 26th oceanic expedition mission.
The vessel, Dayang Yihao or Ocean No. 1, is headed for the South China Sea for the testing before arriving at Sanya in south China's Hainan Province on April 12, sources with the North China Sea Branch of the State Oceanic Administration said.
The vessel's various capacities, such as the dynamic positioning system and advanced scientific instruments for deep-sea operations, including a remotely-operated vehicle, deep-sea drilling machines and a video recording system, will be checked during the test.
Departing from Sanya on April 18, Dayang Yihao will start its oceanic expedition mission that will cover the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean within 380 days.
During the mission, a series of oceanic surveys on polymetallic sulphide, bio-resources and the environment will be conducted, sources said.
The vessel will anchor in Cyprus, Nigeria, Brazil, South Africa and Mauritius for supplies before its scheduled return to Qingdao on May 2, 2013.
On December 11, 2011, the Dayang Yihao returned to the harbor in Qingdao after completing a 369-day scientific research mission that covered more than 64,000 nautical miles.
(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2012)