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Chinese research vessel returns to Hainan after completing Mariana Trench expedition

The deep-sea research mission lasted 53 days

SANYA /China/, December 7. /TASS/. China’s research ship Tansuo-1 returned to the port of Sanya on Hainan Island after completing another research mission to the deepest place on Earth - the Mariana Trench. The Hainan Daily newspaper reported that the research mission began on October 14 and lasted 53 days.

There was a total of 60 specialists aboard the Tansuo-1. Seventeen scientists, including five female researchers, participated in the deep-sea work of a manned submersible called Fendouzhe, or Striver. They studied deep sea flora and fauna, as well as rock and sediment samples. During the expedition, the submersible made 23 dives, six of which saw it descend more than 10 thousand meters into the Mariana Trench.

On November 10, 2020, the Fendouzhe submersible set a new national record for manned deep-sea diving after descending to a depth of 10,909 meters into the Challenger Abyss, the deepest known part of the Mariana Trench. The absolute world record belongs to the Five Deeps Expedition led by 54-year-old American Victor Vescovo. In May 2019, he single-handedly dived to 10,928 m.

The Challenger Deep is the deepest known point of the Mariana Trench and the Earth's surface in general. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, 500 km southwest of the island of Guam. The Chasm was named after the British hydrographic survey ship whose crew members in 1875 were the first to measure this deepest depression on Earth.