China's submersible Jiaolong sets new diving record

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 China's submersible Jiaolong sets new diving record

 China's submersible Jiaolong sets new diving record

The Chinese manned deep-sea submersible Jiaolong returned to its attendant ship at about 12 p.m. Thursday Beijing time after reaching a depth of 5,143 meters in its third test dive in the morning, said the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

The submersible took photos, shot video, and made a topography scan at the ocean floor in the eastern Pacific for about 3.5 hours.

The Jiaolong is the world's first manned submersible designed to reach the depth of 7,000 meters below sea level, according to Xu Qinan, chief designer of the submersible.

Thursday's dive will pave way for a record-breaking 7,000-meter test dive in 2012.

The domestically-manufactured Jiaolong, named after a mythical sea dragon, dived to a depth of 5,057 meters with three people aboard on Tuesday.

China, which initiated the Jiaolong project in 2002, is the fifth country to send a man 3,500 meters below sea level, following the United States, France, Russia and Japan.

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