China's research vessel starts first expedition of 2020
Updated 11:17, 11-Mar-2020
By Gao Yun

Loaded with a manned submersible named Shenhai Yongshi, or "deep sea warrior," Chinese research vessel Tansuo-1 set sail on Tuesday for its first scientific expedition of 2020. 

The vessel started its journey from the port of Nanshan in Sanya City, southern China's Hainan Province, at 9:00 a.m. BJT for several deep-sea survey missions, including ocean ecosystem and marine resources.

"Sixty researchers are on board for the 20-day expedition," said Xie Wei, chief scientist of the research team and associate professor of Sun Yat-sen University. "We will complete the measurement of marine life, geology and some parameters of physical oceanography as well as sample collection of various seamounts in the South China Sea."

Other tests will include the deployment and retrieval system of the deck cloth prepared for 10,000-meter-deep manned submersible, deep-sea intelligence project and sea trials of key equipment, according to Xie.

All team members completed self-isolation and passed the nucleic acid test of the novel coronavirus before embarkation, Liu Zhu, captain of Tansuo-1, said at the sailing ceremony.

Shenhai Yongshi is China's second manned submersible after Jiaolong and is capable of operating at a depth of 4,500 meters underwater.