India’s first Manned Ocean Mission ‘Samudrayaan’ was Launched by Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh at the National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai.
This mission will make India a part of the elite group of countries that have the capability to conduct manned subsea operations. Other countries in this group include the United States, Russia, France, Japan, and China.
Unveiling the Ambitious Mission
Minister of Earth Sciences, Kiren Rijiju, has revealed India’s forthcoming deep-sea exploration mission, aptly named “Samudrayaan.”
At the core of this groundbreaking venture lies the ‘MATSYA 6000’ submersible, presently under construction at the esteemed National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) in Chennai.
Read Also: India’s First Solar City: Key Points
A Pioneering Manned Mission
“Samudrayaan” is India’s first mission to explore the deep ocean with three crew members inside a submersible that can go as deep as 6,000 meters. Their mission is to carefully study the resources in the deep sea and understand the variety of life there.
MATSYA 6000: The Submersible Marvel
The manned submersible MATSYA 6000, was developed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
It will be used to explore the deep ocean for resources such as gas hydrates, polymetallic manganese nodules, hydro-thermal sulfides, and cobalt crusts.
These resources are located at depths of between 1,000 and 5,500 meters.
The number “6000” in the name of the submersible, Samudrayaan, refers to its ability to reach a depth of 6,000 meters below the ocean’s surface.
The submersible has an operational endurance of 12 hours and can be used for emergency operations for up to 96 hours.
It can also crawl on the seabed at a depth of 6 kilometers for 72 hours. The submersible uses a battery-powered propulsion system to crawl at the deep seafloor with 6 degrees of freedom for 4 hours at a depth of 6,000 meters.
Key features of the MATSYA 6000 submersible:
|Depth capability||6,000 meters|
|Operational endurance||12 hours|
|Emergency endurance||96 hours|
|Seabed crawling endurance||72 hours|
|Degrees of freedom||6|
Trials and Certification of MATSYA 6000
The preliminary design of MATSYA 6000, India’s first manned submersible, is complete.
Vehicle realization involves collaboration with organizations like ISRO, IITM, and DRDO.
The submersible will feature a 2.1-meter diameter titanium alloy personnel sphere capable of withstanding 6000 meters of pressure.
Sea trials in shallow water (500 meters) are set for completion by the end of 2022-23, followed by qualification trials by December 2024.
All aspects of the submersible, including system design, functionality, operation concept, safety measures, and emergency protocols, have been reviewed and certified by the International Association of Classification and Certification Society.
MATSYA 6000 becomes India’s first certified manned submersible for depths of 6000 meters, marking a significant milestone in India’s deep-sea exploration capabilities.
Next is "Samudrayaan"— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) September 11, 2023
This is 'MATSYA 6000' submersible under construction at National Institute of Ocean Technology at Chennai. India’s first manned Deep Ocean Mission ‘Samudrayaan’ plans to send 3 humans in 6-km ocean depth in a submersible, to study the deep sea resources and… pic.twitter.com/aHuR56esi7
Equipped for Exploration
The submersible will be equipped with a suite of sophisticated instruments, including:
- Autonomous Coring System (ACS)
- Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)
- Deep Sea Mining System (DSM).
These cutting-edge tools are set to facilitate seamless exploration of the enigmatic deep sea.
Exploring Resources: The Focus of the Samudrayaan Mission
The manned submersible vehicle MATSYA 6000, a key component of the Samudrayaan Mission, empowers the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) to delve into the extensive exploration of deep-sea resources.
These include valuable reserves like gas hydrates, polymetallic manganese nodules, hydro-thermal sulfides, nickel and cobalt crusts. These resources are situated at depths ranging from approximately 1000 to 5500 meters.
The Deep Ocean Mission is estimated to incur a total cost of Rs. 4,077 crores, spanning the years 2021 to 2026. At present, there exists a budget of Rs. 1,400 crores, with Rs. 405.92 crores already expended and Rs. 225.35 crores allocated for future expenses.
In a significant milestone preceding the Samudrayaan mission, December 2022 saw the deployment of a Deepwater Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) named Ocean Mineral Explorer (OMe 6000).
It ventured to depths of approximately 5,271 meters, tasked with the mission of discovering minerals at the Polymetallic Manganese Nodule (PMN) site in the central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB).
The findings from this pioneering endeavor are poised to empower the upcoming Samudrayaan mission as it works diligently toward its objectives.
Significance of Samudrayaan Mission
The Samudrayaan Mission is not only enhancing India’s scientific capabilities but also boosting the country’s reputation on a global scale.
Achieving success with the Samudrayaan Mission will elevate India’s status, placing it in the company of developed nations in deep ocean exploration and resource study.
While several developed countries have conducted similar ocean missions, India could become the first among developing nations to undertake such an ambitious deep ocean mission.
Samudrayaan Mission in a Nutshell
|Launch Date||Yet to be announced|
|Mission Type||Manned Deep Ocean Exploration|
|Submersible Vehicle Name||MATSYA 6000|
|Objective of the mission||Study Deep-Sea Resources and Biodiversity|
|Depth Capability||Up to 6,000 meters|
|Construction Location||National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai|
|Key Resources Studied||Gas Hydrates, Polymetallic Manganese Nodules, Hydro-Thermal Sulfides, Cobalt Crusts|
|Estimated Mission Cost||Rs. 4,077 crores (2021-2026)|
|Budget Allocation||Rs. 1,400 crores (allocated)|
|Key Collaborators||ISRO, IITM, DRDO, International Association of Classification and Certification Society|
|Progress||Preliminary Design Complete; Sea Trials Planned|