After a successful 6 week mission, Jiaolong returned to its home port. In June, the Chinese submersible reached a record depth of 7,062 meters in Western Pacific Ocean. This mission has proven that China does have the technical capacity to explore 99 percent of the ocean floor. After its return, new orders have already been given for the next research dive.
The dive for the next mission will be in South China Sea and will be scheduled for April and May 2013. Key focus on the next mission will be changes in seabed environment and climate influences on the seabed. Next Year’s voyage will have top scientists on board the submersible.
Project Commander Liu Feng said “Following next year’s project, the submersible will go to the allocated areas approved by the International Seabed Authority for research and prepare to undertake a mining project”. He further added “Female candidates will be considered for future projects. If all goes as planned, a deep sea research base will be set up in Qingdao and completed by 2015.