In its first manned deep ocean mission ‘Samudrayaan’, India is planning to send three humans in 6,000 meters underwater to study the deep sea resources and biodiversity assessment, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday. The minister inspected ‘MATSYA 6000’, a manned submersible being developed at the National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai.
“India’s first manned Deep Ocean Mission ‘Samudrayaan’ plans to send 3 humans in 6-km ocean depth in a submersible, to study the deep sea resources and biodiversity assessment,” Rijiju wrote on X, adding that the project will not disturb the ocean ecosystem.
“Ocean Mission supports the 'Blue Economy' vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, and envisages sustainable utilization of ocean resources for economic growth of the country, improve livelihoods and jobs, and preserve ocean ecosystem health,” Rijiju said.
The minister also shared a few pictures of ‘MATSYA 6000’ on the micro-blogging site.
“Our Scientists, Researchers and Engineers are fully devoted to make the Deep Ocean Mission very successful in a sustainable manner,” he said in another post.
Though the minister did not mention on when the country is planning to conduct the mission, reports claimed that the first sea trial is expected in January 2024.
“Samudrayaan mission is underway as part of the Deep Ocean Mission. We will be conducting sea trials at 500 metres depth in the first quarter of 2024,” M. Ravichandran, secretary, Ministry of Earth Science, was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
The report, however, claimed that the mission is expected to be realised only by 2026.
India scripted history last month as the ambitious third Moon mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) touched down on the Moon's south pole, propelling the country to an exclusive club of four and making it the first nation to land on the uncharted surface.
In a big boost to India's space prowess, Chandrayaan-3's Lander Module (LM) comprising the lander (Vikram) and the 26 kg rover (Pragyan), made the soft landing near the south polar region of the Moon at 6.04 pm on August 23.
With this touchdown on moon in second attempt in four years, India has become the fourth country to master the technology of soft-landing on the lunar surface after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union.
The Rs 600 crore Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 onboard Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-3) rocket, for a 41-day voyage to reach near the lunar south pole.