China Reaches Earth's Deepest Ocean Trench
China Reaches Earth's Deepest Ocean Trench

CHALLENGER DEEP, PACIFIC OCEAN — The Chinese government live-streamed footage of its new manned submersible as it reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench on Friday.

The "Fendouzhe", meaning "Striver", submersible descended more than 10 kilometers into the submarine trench in the western Pacific Ocean with three researchers on board, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Only a handful of people have ever visited the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a 2,550 kilometer-long depression in the Earth's crust that is deeper than Mount Everest is high.

The first explorers visited the trench in 1960 on a brief expedition, after which there had been no missions until movie director James Cameron made the first solo trip to the bottom in 2012.

Cameron described a "desolate" and "alien" environment.

Fendouzhe, had earlier this month set a Chinese record of 10,909 meters for manned deep-sea diving after landing in the deepest known point of the trench, Challenger Deep, just shy of the 10,927-meter world record set by an American explorer in 2019.