Jiaolong, China's first manned deep-sea submersible, on Wednesday embarked on a preparatory voyage ahead of a scientific expedition in the Pacific Ocean.
Its carrier, Xiangyanghong 09, set sail from a port in the city of Jiangyin in east China's Jiangsu Province.
After the trial journey, Jiaolong is scheduled for a July voyage in the west Pacific Ocean, during which it will research cobalt-rich crusts in the ocean and life forms inhabiting the bottom of the ocean.
The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) revealed that a micro-sized remote-controlled submersible called Longzhu, or Dragon Ball, will be carried by Jiaolong for its first scientific expedition mission. By reaching narrow regions that are inaccessible to Jiaolong, Longzhu is expected to expand the coverage of the research.
Longzhu was made and developed by the Shenyang Institute of Automation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, according to the SOA.
In 2012, Jiaolong, China's first manned deep-sea submersible, achieved a record dive depth of more than 7,000 meters in the Pacific's Mariana Trench.
(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2014)