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Its Deep Diving Away Team Week

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
July 26, 2022
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Its Deep Diving Away Team Week
Alan Stern Heads For Titanic

Alan Stern’s Titanic Away Team Journal: Was That a Dream?
‘Yesterday our mother ship ship Horizon Arctic finished the journey to carry us and our OceanGate Expeditions submersible Titan along the Grand Banks to port in St. John’s Newfoundland after exploring the RMS Titanic. As the ship pulled into port my fellow Titanic explorers watched from railings above the ship’s bridge. I said to one of my colleagues, Dylan Taylor, “Did we really just explore the Titanic? It feels like a dream.” He instantly replied, “Funny, I feel exactly the same way.”

Alan Stern’s Titanic Away Team Journal: Tally Ho Titanic!, ALan Stern
“As the sole scientist in the crew, I felt a bit the designated geek, but I soon realized I was just one geek of five. I could not have asked for a more engaging, accomplished, talented, and driven Titan crew compliment than those four gentlemen. The journey ended all too soon, and by 1315 we dropped weights and were on ascent. My role collecting scientific images and other observations, and even a little piloting of the sub was then over, though I continued to help with sub to surface comm throughout ascent and recovery ops.”

Alan Stern’s Titanic Away Team Journal: T-1 Day, Reflections on Risk and Reward
“As least for me, it’s always a little sobering to take deliberate risks. But I’ll do that tomorrow, as I have in the past, because the risks are so well worth the rewards. From my up-close exploration of Titanic and the deep ocean bottom there, I expect to contribute to science, to bring back experiences to share and to be able to inspire others to greater accomplishments of their own.”

Human-occupied Submersible Alvin Makes Historic Dive, WHOI
“Today, the human-occupied submersible Alvin made history when it successfully reached a depth of 6,453 meters (nearly 4 miles) in the Puerto Rico Trench, north of San Juan, P.R. This is the deepest dive ever in the 58-year history of the storied submersible.”

Alan Stern’s Titanic Away Team Journal: Frontiers That Beckon And Bind
“Today is a bit of a slow day here on the North Atlantic, with overcast skies, steady winds, occasional rain, and churning seas. There are so many kinds of exploration, so many kinds of frontiers. From the arctic to the deep ocean, from the upper atmosphere to space, from mountains to medical research, and from AI to astrophysics, I’ve named just a few. For me, New Horizons though is special, it was the only chance in my generation of planetary scientists to be a part of a mission to a new kind of planet, to explore new worlds still farther than legendary Voyager had, and to barnstorm the deep outer solar system with 21st century technology. For these reasons, of all the 29 space missions I have participated in myself, and of the 14 I have led, New Horizons is my favorite.”

Alan Stern’s Titanic Away Team Journal: Of Exploration, Moonlight, and July 19th.
“Today our expedition’s A dive to Titanic took place here at OceanGate Expeditions. I was up for it before 3 a.m. and on deck by 4 a.m. to observe and learn from the pre-dive preps. The actual dive commenced with deployment of the sub, Titan, into the ocean about 7:15 a.m., and submerging the craft roughly 25 min later. The dive ended after almost 10 hours, with a successful 3-hour exploration around the Titanic, 4000 meters beneath us here on the surface. My own team’s dive, called B dive, will be Friday, after two days of expected bad seas in between, not suitable for sub operations.”

OSTP Leaders’ Call with Marine Geologist Dawn Wright After Her History-Making Expedition to Deepest Known Part of Ocean
“Last week Dawn Wright became the first Black person to descend to the deepest known part of the ocean on a successful mission to map the Challenger Deep ocean trench, at the southern end of the Mariana Trench off of Guam. Dr. Wright’s expedition, piloted by explorer Victor Vescovo was completed on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 (local time), successfully creating high-resolution mapping images, for the first time, of Challenger Deep.”

Alan Stern’s Titanic Away Team Journal 18 July 2022
“At the urging of Keith Cowing I’ve been reflecting on the Titanic dive I’ll be making this week with OceanGate Expeditions and I’ll be sharing some of those reflections with you here. Feel free to share! these posts. The first reflection I want to write about is the connection I feel between my involvement in this deep ocean exploration and the coming exploration of Ocean world Europa by NASA”s Europa Clipper Science Team, of which I am also a part.”

First Humans Dive Into Yap And Palau Deeps, Divernet
“The first-ever human descents to the deepest points of both the Yap and Palau Trenches are the latest achievements of undersea adventurer Victor Vescovo, in his unique two-person any-depth submersible Limiting Factor. The founder of Caladan Oceanic recorded a maximum depth of 8,929m in the Yap Trench, accompanied on the dive by Grand Master Navigator Sesario Sewralur of Micronesia, and 8,027m in the Palau Trench (plus or minus 9m in each case) in the company of former Palau president Thomas Rememngesau.”

After his recent trip to outer space, UNC professor is going to Earth’s deepest point, News and Observer
“Three months ago, entrepreneur and UNC-Chapel Hill professor Jim Kitchen was gazing down at Earth from a rocketship in the blackness of outer space. Next week, he’ll be exploring the darkness of the ocean floor in the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point on Earth. Kitchen, 57, calls himself a “serial adventurer,” having also visited all 193 United Nations-recognized countries. This dive will make him the fifth person in history to travel to both inner and outer space.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.

3 responses to “Its Deep Diving Away Team Week”

  1. SpikeTheHobbitMage says:

    The other ‘final frontier’ is in some ways even harder to reach than the one above us, and largely unexplored. Always good to see progress on that front.

  2. Bill Keksz says:

    One wonders how much of the original Alvin is in the current Alvin.

  3. Paul Gillett says:

    From a lifelong follower of the Titanic saga, my thanks for sharing this.