Chinese submersible aims for 23,000 feet

June 22, 2012 at 5:30 PM

BEIJING, June 22 (UPI) -- China's deep-sea submersible Jiaolong, having surpassed the record for the nation's deepest descent, aims to dive to almost 23,000 feet, researchers said.

In the deepest of three dives in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench conducted from June 15 to Friday, the submersible reached a depth of 22,800 feet, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

All three dives surpassed the country's previous record, set when the submersible went to 7,000 feet in July 2011.

In Friday's last dive, Jiaolong's crew of three performed bottom maneuvers and worked for more than 3 hours on the seafloor, collecting water and sediment samples and photographing sea life on the trench floor.

An attempt will be made Monday to reach 22,965 feet, research team members said.

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