Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

Mission Samudrayan: India’s First and Unique Manned Ocean


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mission Samudrayan

Mains level: Deep Ocean Mission

Union Minister of Earth Sciences has launched India’s First Manned Ocean Mission Samudrayan at Chennai.

Mission Samudrayan

  • The Samudrayan project has been undertaken by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).
  • It will be a part of the Rs 6,000 crore Deep Ocean Mission.
  • It is designed to carry 3 persons in 2.1meter diameter Titanium Alloy Personnel Sphere with an operational endurance of 12hrs and systems to support emergency endurance up to 96hrs.
  • It could work at a depth between 1000 and 5500 meters.


  • Samudrayan shall facilitate carrying out deep ocean exploration of the non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, hydro-thermal sulphides and cobalt crusts.
  • The mission would carry out subsea activities such as high-resolution bathymetry, biodiversity assessment, geo-scientific observation, search activities, salvage operation and engineering support.

Focus areas of the Project

  • Ocean climate change advisory services
  • Underwater vehicles
  • Underwater robotics-related technologies
  • Deep-sea mining: Exploitation of polymetallic nodules

Components of the mission

Some of the critical subsystems of the manned submersibles are:

  • Development of Titanium Alloy Personnel Sphere, Human support and safety system in enclosed space, low density buoyancy modules, Ballast and Trim System
  • Pressure compensated batteries and propulsion system, control and communication systems and Launching and Recovery System.

Progress till date

  • The preliminary design of the manned submersible MATSYA 6000 is completed.
  • Sea trials of 500 metre rated shallow water version of the manned submersible are expected to take place in the last quarter of 2022 and the MATSYA 6000.
  • The deep-water manned submersible will be ready for trials by the second quarter of 2024.

Why need such mission?

  • This manned submersible mission provides a feel of direct physical presence for researchers and has better intervention capability.
  • With the advancing subsea technologies, the recent Fendouzhe manned submersible developed by China in 2020 has touched ~11000m water depths.
  • With Samudrayan, India joins the elite club of nations such as USA, Russia, Japan, France and China to have such underwater vehicles for carrying out subsea activities.

Back2Basics: India and International Seabed Authority (ISA)

  • The ISA, an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, allots the ‘area’ for deep-sea mining.
  • India was the first country to receive the status of a ‘Pioneer Investor’ in 1987 and was given an area of about 1.5 lakh sqkm in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) for nodule exploration.
  • In 2002, India signed a contract with the ISA, and after a complete resource analysis of the seabed, India surrendered 50%, and the country retained an area of 75,000 sqkm.
  • Further studies have helped narrow the mining area to 18,000 sqkm, the ‘First Generation Mine-site’.


UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch