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Deep Ocean Mission Approved by Cabinet

Deep Ocean Mission:

The Union Cabinet has approved the long-pending Deep Ocean Mission.

  • The mission proposes to explore the deep ocean similar to the space exploration started by ISRO about 35 years ago.
  • The focus of the mission will be on deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics-related technologies.
  • The mission is expected to cost ₹4,077 crore over the next five years.
  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal Ministry implementing this multi-institutional mission.

Key Components of the mission:

  • A manned submersible will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools.
  • An Integrated Mining System will be developed for mining polymetallic nodules at those depths in the central Indian Ocean.
  • Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services.
  • Development of a component for searching deep-sea flora and fauna, including microbes, and studying ways to sustainably utilise them.
  • The next component is to explore and identify potential sources of hydrothermal minerals that are sources of precious metals formed from the earth’s crust along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
  • It has a component for studying and preparing detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants.
  • The final component is aimed at grooming experts in the field of ocean biology and engineering. This component aims to translate research into industrial applications and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.

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