This Scientist Is on His Way to Being the First Filipino to Reach the Earth's Third-Deepest Spot

Dr. Deo Florence L. Onda is set to make history!

(SPOT.ph) It is usually said that we know more about outer space than we do the depths of ocean—so imagine what you might see if you dive into Emden Deep, the third deepest spot on Earth. Well, that's exactly what Dr.  Deo Florence L. Onda, a microbial oceanographer of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, is about to do. Onda is set to make history with this descent as the first Pinoy to reach the the spot. 

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Onda's journey was announced by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) on Wednesday, March 17. "Deep sea expeditions like this one are equivalent to the first early flights into outer space, thus it would be a major record-setting scientific and historic achievement," noted the institute, adding that such feats are usually held by foreign scientists and explorers. 

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Emden Deep is located in the Philippine Trench and reaches depths of up to approximately 10,400 meters or 34,100 feet. The Pinoy scientist will be joined by Victor Vescovo, an American explorer and the current record holder of the deepest manned descent in the Marianas Trench, for the Emden Deep Expedition. 

Actual descent is targeted between March 22 to 28. As of writing, Onda and the team are onboard the DSSV Pressure Drop, a one-of-a-kind vessel capable of launching the "deep-sea submersible DSV Limiting Factor that can carry humans and repeatedly dive to the deepest parts in the world’s oceans." Their voyage starts from the port of Guam to the Philippine Trench. 

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Waving the Philipine Flag in the depths of the Philippine Trench is part of the expedition's goals, "highlighting that it is an integral part of our nation’s heritage," noted UP-MSI. Onda will also be returning with more knowledge vital to the National Academic Research Fleet, a national project with the objective of studying our waters.

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