back to article China seeks ‘Oceanauts’ for deep sea exploration

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 …


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  1. dognolegs
    Thumb Up


    Bravo China, can I be one too?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oceanauts

      So they have to be highly intelligent, but must they be highly attractive as well?

      Cooped up inside a metal cigar for weeks on end with nothing to do........!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I love explorations of all sorts....

    ...specially scientific exploration, but mining? Hummmmm...I don't know..........something tells me we will finally manage to fuck up what is left of the planet. But hey, the Chinese are investing in a new niche. Good for them.

  3. It wasnt me


    I like exploration. I like the oceans. I even like nuclear energy. But mixing the 3, overseen by a closed authoritarian state just doesn't sit quite right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmmm.....

      This is about China, not the USA.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmmm.....

        There are few better places to lose nuclear material then 7000 meters under the sea.

  4. nuked

    "No further explanation is given as to why the two female oceanauts on board need to be brighter than their male colleagues..."

    Someone needs to work out how to do the washing up, underwater...

    1. Chris G

      Welcome to Atrantis!

      "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.

      1. The lone lurker

        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:

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      get the washing dry when you can't hang it outside

      (checks ticked 'post anonymously')

  5. MrT

    would also help if...

    ...they had the names 'Kwazii', 'Peso', 'Shellington', 'Barnacles', 'Tunip', and 'Professor Inkling'.

    Oceanauts, to the launch bay!

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: would also help if...

      you ruin my one refuge from the octonauts! thanks! :-)

  6. Caltharian

    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

    1. Ru

      Being an economic and nuclear superpower

      means never having to say you're sorry. Or ask for permission, for that matter.

      Who's gonna stop em? Or impose economic sanctions?

  7. Lamont Cranston

    I read the headline as "Octonauts"

    and do not wish to be corrected.

    1. Thomas 4

      Re: I read the headline as "Octonauts"

      No, you're thinking of Japan. And hentai.

  8. Kharkov

    This is a public service...

    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...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a public service...


      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.

  9. Chad H.

    Havent I seen this show?

    Mines the one with the Seaquest DSV logo

  10. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Clear parallels with space exploration... 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.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Clear parallels with space exploration...

      People tend to be better at thinking on their feet than robots... Robots can only do as they're programmed, flesh can get creative.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Clear parallels with space exploration...

        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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I wonder if they will go the U.S. route....

    And use subsea activities as a cover for placing surveillance gear on international telecoms cables.

    It did help win the Cold War, but still.....

    1. Kharkov
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I wonder if they will go the U.S. route....

      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!

      1. Rick Brasche
        Thumb Up

        Re: I wonder if they will go the U.S. route....

        @ Kharkov

        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. :)

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: I wonder if they will go the U.S. route....

      Surely no-one sends secret stuff unencrypted these days?

  12. disgruntled yank

    Naut again!

    What next, agrofarmers?

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