Deep Sea Drilling Vessel Chikyu
This Japanese research ship Chikyu drills into the ocean floor to learn about Earth’s history and structure, and the mechanism of earthquakes in particular. Completed in 2005, it is the first scientific research ship that can drill up to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) below the ocean floor to obtain sediments from Earth’s interior. It can drill into earthquake zones. One day it may drill all the way to Earth’s mantle. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in our Deep Ocean Exploration featured story.