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India’s Ambitious Samudrayan Project Sets Sail to Explore Ocean’s Depths

India | September 14, 2023: India is embarking on a groundbreaking maritime expedition, deploying the Matsya 6000 submarine to delve six kilometers into the ocean’s enigmatic realms. This audacious endeavor, akin to India’s space missions, aims to unlock the secrets of the deep sea and harness its resources. Spearheaded by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and supported by ISRO, this mission has profound implications for marine research and Prime Minister Modi’s Blue Economy initiative.

In a significant stride towards ocean exploration, India is gearing up to send three of its own on a mission of profound significance, taking cues from the likes of the United States, Russia, France, Japan, and China.

Chennai’s NIOT is at the helm of this ambitious Deep Ocean Mission, with an estimated cost of Rs 4,077 crore. After deploying the Sagar Nidhi vessel in the Central Indian Ocean in December 2022, the next phase, known as Samudrayan, will feature the Matsya 6000 submersible, set to make its deep-sea descent by 2025-26.

Named after the Sanskrit word for fish, the Matsya 6000 will explore the ocean’s abyss, where water pressure soars to six hundred times the surface level. Crafted from titanium alloy, this 2.1-meter diameter submarine accommodates three individuals and can endure 12 hours underwater, with a 96-hour emergency oxygen supply.

India’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Thiruvananthapuram has collaborated on this remarkable project, subjecting the submarine to rigorous testing across different phases.

The Matsya 6000 is more than just a vessel; it’s a cutting-edge research platform. Outfitted with scientific instruments and a communication system, it will record vital observations and allow the onboard team to study the ocean floor directly. The expedition seeks to uncover valuable minerals like nickel, cobalt, and manganese, along with hydrothermal sulphide and rare minerals.

This mission transcends scientific curiosity; it aligns with strategic interests. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, India’s Exclusive Economic Zone extends to 23,05,143 square kilometers, but much of this vast expanse remains uncharted.

Beyond resource exploration, the oceans play a crucial role in mitigating climate change, absorbing about 90 percent of the Earth’s carbon emissions-generated heat. India, where the monsoon shapes agriculture and the economy, is particularly reliant on oceanic influences.

In essence, India’s Samudrayan project not only represents a giant leap in marine research but also holds immense economic and environmental significance. As the submarine plunges into the ocean’s depths, it symbolizes India’s determination to understand, protect, and harness the secrets of the sea.

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