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Samudrayaan Mission: Govt Plans to Send Humans 6,000 m Deep in Ocean

The Deep Ocean Mission, which places a focus on the development of deep-sea technology, includes the construction of manned submersibles with a maximum operating depth of 6,000 metres as well as technologies for deep-sea mining, resource exploitation, and marine biodiversity.

Shivam Dwivedi
Deep Ocean Mission
Deep Ocean Mission

The Centre will soon launch a massive ocean exploration mission called 'Samudrayaan' to explore the deep seawaters. With the launch of the unique ocean mission 'Samudrayaan' in October 2021, India joined the elite club of nations that have niche technology and vehicles to carry out subsea activities, including the United States, Russia, Japan, France, and China.

The Samudrayaan Mission aims to develop a self-propelled manned submersible capable of transporting three humans to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean, along with a suite of scientific sensors and tools for deep ocean exploration. According to the ANI news agency, it has a 12-hour operational period and a 96-hour emergency endurance.

The manned submersible will allow scientists to directly observe and understand unexplored deep-sea areas. It will also improve the capability for developing deep sea man-rated vehicle. The projected timeline spans five years, from 2020-2021 to 2025-2026.

With a 7517 km long coastline that is home to nine coastal states and 1,382 islands, India is in a unique marine situation. The Blue Economy is one of the ten main dimensions of growth, according to the government of India's vision for the "New India."

For the exploration of the deep sea, the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, an independent institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), has developed a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with a 6000m depth rating as well as numerous other underwater instruments, including the Autonomous Coring System (ACS), Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), and Deep-Sea Mining System (DSM).

"This niche technology shall facilitate Ministry of Earth Sciences, in carrying out deep ocean exploration of the non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, hydro-thermal sulphides, and cobalt crusts, located at a depth between 1000 and 5500 metres," Union Minister of State Dr. Jitendra Singh said when introducing the sea exploration initiative.

Oceans, which make up 70% of the world's surface, continue to be essential to human life. The Deep Ocean still has a 95 percent undiscovered area. With the oceans on three of its sides and around 30% of the people living along the shore, the coastal regions are crucial to India's economy. It promotes aquaculture, tourism, subsistence, and blue trade.

The manned submersible "MATSYA 6000" has a finished conceptual design, and work on realizing the vehicle has begun. The programme has the cooperation of a number of organizations, including ISRO, IITM, and DRDO, the Union Minister noted. The manned submersible vehicle MATSYA 6000 was created domestically. It will make deep ocean exploration easier for the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

Underwater tasks such as high-resolution bathymetry, biodiversity assessment, geoscientific observation, search operations, salvage operations, and engineering support need the use of underwater vehicles. Unmanned underwater vehicles have enhanced maneuverability and great vision systems that resemble direct observation, while manned submersibles provide researchers a sense of their direct physical presence and have stronger intervention capabilities. due to the development of subsea technology.

The Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) was given the green light by the Indian government to be carried out over the course of five years with a total budget of Rs 4,077 crore. The first phase's projected cost for the three years (2021-2024) is Rs 2,823.4 crore. In order to promote the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India, Deep Ocean Mission will be a mission-mode initiative.

The Deep Ocean Mission, which places a focus on the development of deep-sea technology, includes the construction of manned submersibles with a maximum operating depth of 6,000 metres as well as technologies for deep-sea mining, resource exploitation, and marine biodiversity.

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