March 13, 2003 Guests
Guest : 6500 Meters Beneath the Sea
Director Mohri boarded the manned submersible research vehicle "Shinkai 6500" and investigated the deep sea.
At the Nansei Islands Trench in Okinawa Prefecture, Shinkai 6500 dove to its maximum depth-6500 meters below sea level. .
The purpose of the investigation was to research ocean floor conditions, which cannot be observed from Space, and to make a comparison between conducting operational activities in the closed environment of the ocean and conducting them in Space. As a part of the research, Director Mohri also recorded ocean floor conditions with a miniature high vision camera-these cameras are currently being developed.
The photo to the upper right is of Mohri and the two people who accompanied him on this dive in Shinkai 6500─Iijima and Yanagiya. A maximum of three people can ride in the vehicle.
The photo to the left shows the interior of Shinkai 6500. When the vehicle reached 6500 meters, the crew communicated with Miraikan interpreters standing by on the mother ship Yokosuka. The inside of the vehicle was a mere two meters in diameter. The crew basically remained in the same position for the approximately seven and a half hours between boarding and disembarkation.
At the 6500 meter point, the crew encountered a bright red shrimp. It was surprising to find colorful living creatures in this dark world that light does not reach.The photo to the right shows Cup Noodle containers that were submerged 6500 meters below sea level along with Shinkai 6500. The water pressure rendered the containers smaller than a pack of cigarettes.