( Image Credits : X @kirenrijiju/Oceangate )

Indian Minister of Earth Sciences, Kiren Rijiju, made an announcement on Monday regarding the construction of the 'MATSYA 6000' submersible at the National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai. This submersible is a significant part of India's inaugural crewed Deep Ocean Mission, known as 'Samudrayaan,' which aims to send a team of three individuals to explore depths of 6 km in the ocean.

As reported by The Statesman, the Matsya-6000 possesses remarkable capabilities, enabling it to withstand the immense pressures of the deep ocean for up to 12 hours, with the potential to extend this duration to 96 hours in the event of emergencies. The ambitious project is budgeted at an estimated Rs 4,077 crore, equivalent to approximately $491.5 million, spanning a five-year timeframe.

One of the mission's key goals is to protect the fragile marine ecosystem while venturing into the realm of exploration. The indigenous submersible will be on a quest to uncover valuable metals and minerals, particularly cobalt, nickel, and manganese.

While making the announcement, the Union Minister emphasized, "The project is designed to have minimal impact on the ocean ecosystem. The Deep Ocean Mission aligns with the Prime Minister's vision for the 'Blue Economy.'"

India's Blue Economy policy aims to achieve the sustainable development of coastal areas by efficiently utilizing various aspects of the maritime domain, encompassing both living and non-living resources, tourism, ocean energy, and more.

In alignment with this policy, the mission aims to responsibly harness ocean resources to promote India's economic growth, enhance livelihoods, create employment opportunities, and ensure the health of the ocean ecosystem is preserved.

Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of Earth Sciences, remarked, "Our dedicated scientists, researchers, and engineers are fully committed to making the Deep Ocean Mission a sustainable success."

According to India Today, India anticipates the completion of the submersible's construction by 2026. Sea trials are planned to be conducted at a depth of 500 meters in the first quarter of 2024.

This mission will elevate India to the select group of nations possessing crewed submersible capabilities, joining the ranks of the United States, Russia, Japan, France, and China.

The submersible's design will bear a resemblance to Oceangate's Titan, which gained attention when it was lost and subsequently imploded in the North Atlantic Ocean during its voyage to the Titanic's resting place, tragically resulting in the loss of all five crew members on board.

Do you think Samudrayaan Mission will be successful after what happened with Titan? Comment and do let us know your thoughts below -