China seeks ‘Oceanauts’ for deep sea exploration
Six scientists, two of them hyper-intelligent women, sought for marine mining mission
China is set to recruit six intrepid “oceanauts”, including two women, as it increases the frequency of its deep-sea exploratory missions.
The People’s Republic set a new record in June when its Jiaolong manned submersible reached a depth of 7,062 metres below sea level on a mission to the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.
From 2013, Jiaolong will increase the frequency of deep-sea dives from a handful per year to over 50, and so will need a bigger team, according to China Daily.
Jiaolong designer Ye Cong revealed that two female oceanauts would be chosen from a group of shortlisted biologists.
However, the candidates are, rather bizarrely, required to have a “higher mental capacity” than their male colleagues, as well as being able to cope with pressure – presumably of the mental and physical variety.
No further explanation is given as to why the two female oceanauts on board need to be brighter than their male colleagues.
China has ramped up its deep sea exploration efforts of late, in an apparent attempt to map the ocean for precious natural resources.
The China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA) has researched the West Pacific Ocean seabed for 15 years and is currently vying with its Japanese equivalent to gain UN approval to explore “cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts” in the region.
In July, the South China Morning Post revealed plans by the state-owned China Ship Scientific Research Centre to build a nuclear-powered mobile deep-sea station which could have space for over 30 crew members.
It said a smaller, 12-man prototype is already in production and could be ready by 2015. ®
This is about China, not the USA.
I read the headline as "Octonauts"
and do not wish to be corrected.
Re: Welcome to Atrantis!
Mining is a bit of a misnomer, most of the mineral wealth referred to here is in the form of manganese nodules. These concretions cover an estimated 70% of the abyssal plains and tend to look like knobbly potatoes buried in the sediment. There would be no digging involved and certainly not enough waste to cover the entire ocean and it would almost certainly be less than the western sea mining impact; Deepwater Horizon anyone?
Most major nations of the world including the UK, USA, France and Germany have already attempted mining of this resource back in the 60's and 70's but the cost of retrieving the nodules was not financially viable. These attempts did however, lead to development of other useful tech like towed side scan sonar. If China can make this work then let them go for it!
As an aside there are five major gyres in the worlds oceans all of them have accumulated rubbish, we're all to blame!
For anyone who is interested here are some images of nodules: