The United States - a submarine robot plunged to a depth of more than 10 km to reach the oceanic pit deepest known, becoming the 3rd unit to explore the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. Scientists hope the device will help solve some major mysteries of the ocean.
During its voyage on May 31, the automatic apparatus called Nereus (Poseidon), after the name of the Greek god of the sea, has borne a pressure a thousand times higher than that of the surface. It passed more than 10 hours close to the ocean floor, driven from the surface through a long fiber optic cable.
Nereus is the apparatus having dived the deepest in the world and the first to explore the Marianas Trench in 1998. It weighs almost 3 tons, measuring 4 meters long and about 2.5 meters wide. It was developed by the Oceanographic Institute at Woods Hole (WHOI), a private research center based in the United States.
While most of the ocean floor remains unexplored, the robot was able to send instant video to the boat and collect samples with its robotic arms. This tool will allow scientists to conduct research on the geological and biological systems the most dynamic, according to Tim Shank, a biologist at WHOI.
During his last dive, Nereus has studied the Challenger Deep which lies at the junction of two tectonic plates and the belt of fire in the Pacific, an area of 40,000 km, where most volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur .
Louis Whitcomb of Johns Hopkins University, who developed the navigation system of the submarine, said: "We hope that Nereus help scientists doing research on major issues of our time, such as the relationship between the dynamics of ocean and climate change. "