Everett-based company OceanGate is about to start its RMS Titanic Expedition starts in four days, according to their website. The company provides manned submersible assets and expertise for commercial, research and military applications. The named journey, Titan will consist of researchers and citizen explorers plunging 3,800 meters (12,800 feet) below the surface of the North Atlantic to the final resting area of RMS Titanic. Recent findings have shown that the wreckage is deteriorating at a rapid rate, accelerating efforts to chronicle and observe the wreckage remaining above the ocean floor.
The crew will depart from St. John’s, Newfoundland with scientists, content experts and mission specialists who will join the crew on a multi-year series of weeklong missions totaling 18 dives. They will use the latest underwater technology to study, document and digitally assess the current condition of the wreck. Specifically, high definition 4K cameras and a 3D sonar scanner to advance RMS science Titanic and its rate of deterioration at the bottom of the sea. OceanGate has expanded its arsenal of deep-sea submarines to build two new submarines capable of diving to 6000 meters (3.7 miles), a mile longer than the pavement.
UThe American Hall of Fame astronaut and Dr. Scott Parazynski will be among 40 crew members assigned to the exploration. Parazynski is no stranger to adventure. He has piloted five space shuttle flights, initiated seven spacewalks and even climbed Mount Everest. “Being part of the inaugural Titanic Survey expeditionary team is an incredible opportunity. I look forward to demonstrating the cutting edge submersible technology that will change the way we explore our deep oceans, ”said Dr. Scott Parazynski. The NASA astronaut believes the mission will have its challenges, but within those challenges is a catalyst for innovation.
In addition to Parazynski, a two-time Titanic Expedition Team member, Rory Golden will be an expeditionary expert during the expedition. He was part of the 2000 ‘and 2005’ Titanic expeditions and dives. “I will never forget the first time I saw the Titanic,” Golden said in an interview. “We were in the front section, near the bow, and we slowly walked up a steel wall covered with rivets and rusticles.” Golden described the moment as a wave of emotions. “You are excited, in awe and at the same time you feel a deep sadness for all those who are lost.”
Six missions are planned this summer. Each participating citizen scientist will embark for 8 days at sea as a mission specialist crew member and perform an 8-10 hour unattached submersible dive in a team of 5. The team consists of a sub-pilot, a subject matter expert and three mission specialists.
Some of the objectives of the mission are to complement work done on previous scientific expeditions to capture data and images for further scientific study of the site. As previously reported, the crew will scan the wreckage and parts of the debris field using the latest multibeam sonar, laser scanning and photogrammetry technologies. Finally, the crew will document the flora and fauna that inhabit the wreck site in order to compare them with the data collected during previous scientific expeditions in order to better assess the evolution of the habitat and the maritime heritage site.
Click here to learn more about OceanGate and their Titanic Inquiry Shipping.