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China recruits six aquanaut cadets for deep-sea exploration

Discussion in 'China & Asia Pacific' started by layman, Dec 10, 2013.

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  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- China has recruited six aquanaut cadets, including two women, as a reserve force for its future submersible missions, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) announced on Tuesday.

    The newly recruited cadets, who are between the ages of 23 and 28, have been selected from candidates across the country in a public recruitment campaign that kicked off on July 2.

    The cadets are China's second cohort of aquanaut cadets. They will begin a two-year training program in 2014 and graduate as aquanauts if they pass evaluations in 2016, according to the SOA.

    Liu Feng, director of the National Deep Sea Center, said the selection criteria for male and female candidates were the same.

    "One thing I worried most about during the selection was seasickness, but my habit of doing physical exercise helped me to pass the test," said Zhao Shengya, a woman and the youngest among the cadets.

    "I believe age and gender are not problems," Zhao said. "I'm quite confident to become a qualified aquanaut after two years."

    "China's training for aquanauts has become more systematic and mature compared with the first round," said Liu, noting that the aquanauts from the first group have grown up together with Jiaolong, China's first manned deep-sea submersible.

    Apart from comprehensive training on deep-sea submersibles, the cadets will also attend courses on culture, etiquette and deportment, according to Liu.

    "We hope these aquanauts can serve as examples of the country's marine sector and convey marine consciousness to the public," Liu said.

    Jiaolong reached a record 7,062 meters in the Pacific's Mariana Trench during a dive in June 2012. During a trial and exploration voyage from June to September this year, Jiaolong explored the South China Sea and the northeast and northwest of the Pacific, accomplishing 21 dives.

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