Bravo China, can I be one too?
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 …
"No further explanation is given as to why the two female oceanauts on board need to be brighter than their male colleagues..."
Thanks! mouth full of tea and toast narrowly missed the keyboard but the cat is none too happy!
If the current record of the Chinese on environment is anything to go by; the Pacific Ocean will be up for renaming as the Dead Sea if they start to mine underwater.
The Pacific gyre is already a 'Sargasso Sea ' of plastic so digging the sea bed will nicely distribute heavy metals and all the other waste from mining around the entire ocean.
But, it does provide a good background for a re-make of the Spy Who Loved Me with a Chinese Stromberg.
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:
The Major problem that i can see is if and when they actually start mining and the fact that no-one can agree on what part of the seas and oceans in the area belong to which countries
Hopefully the UN will not give permission for any sort of mining until atleast that part is sorted out otherwise there could be some very upset people with large military budgets and grudges to settle
Now someone else can have their very own 'The Abyss' by James Cameron!
That, or the very first Aquanauts to meet the Aquatoids, the Gill-men & the Lobster-men (X-Com TFTD) will be Chinese.
Scooping up Manganese nodules from the ocean floor is a good start, and it paves the way for true ocean-floor mining. If you have the tech, then mining all those really expensive metals becomes worth doing...
I am the only person in the world, who perchanced on an offcut of MANGANESE STEEL, and made a post hole digger out of it....
It has an intermediate stainless steel overlay welded on the teeth faces, with a very, very, hard "tool steel / earth moving / rock crusher" hard facing alloy welded on top of that.
6mm steel plate? Fuck this is hard putting it through the hand rollers..........
Nearly bursted the machine and self, was so hard to roll.
Tis a good post hole digger though.
If you have the muscle, you can cut through rock with it.
...in that only an idiot would actually want to go there in person.
If these nuggets are just sitting there in plain view on the ocean floor then that just has to be within the limits of current robotic technology. The only reason to send people (and a full life-support system) down there is so that you can idolise them as national heroes when (or if) they come back up.
You missed three points. Firstly, with the nuggets sitting proud on the ocean floor and the abyssal depths being fairly quiet places, there's bugger all thinking to be done. Secondly, if the robots fail to come back, it is just marked down as "operating costs". No-one starts campaigning for "this evil industry" to be made illegal. Thirdly, if you don't have to carry down a life-support system, you can probably make the entire craft solid state, which is going to be a massive weight saving and result in being able to bring up far more nuggets per descent.
Oooh, me likey!
Nicely paranoid. I imagine there are quite a few dedicated military communication lines between San Diego (a major US Navy base) and Hawaii...
Somewhere, a US Admiral is getting an ulcer...
Now if they only had a 'Battle Beneath The Earth' (1967) tunnelling laser, we could really ramp up the paranoia!
glad to see someone else remembers this movie, full of white folk poorly disguised as Chinese...and the pneumatic tube travel system..
can't forget the Heroic Male Lead warning the Professional Yet Attractive Female vulcanologist to stand away from barely-cooled molten rock after the laser test because she wouldn't possibly know it was still dangeously hot. :)
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