Photographs from inside the Titanic submarine that is currently missing has left the public horrified.
In a daring expedition to the haunting depths of the sea, the Titan submersible, a compact tube barely larger than a typical family car, embarked on a voyage to descend a staggering 4,000 meters below the ocean’s surface.
This remarkable vessel, equipped to accommodate four passengers and a skilled pilot, recently went missing during its mission to explore the wreckage of the ill-fated Titanic.
As the clock ticks relentlessly, with approximately two days’ worth of oxygen remaining for its occupants, a frantic rescue operation is underway, spearheaded by the combined efforts of the US and Canadian coastguards.
Measuring a modest 670 centimeters in length, 280 centimeters in width, and 250 centimeters in height, the Titan submersible is constructed from a blend of carbon fiber and titanium, boasting a weight of 10,432 kilograms.
This technological marvel can transport an additional 685 kilograms of cargo. Propelled by four electric thrusters, the Titan has a top speed of three knots, enabling it to navigate the treacherous underwater terrain with relative ease.
Equipped with cutting-edge features, the Titan incorporates an array of advanced tools to facilitate its mission. These include a 2D sonar system, powerful LED lights emitting an impressive 40,000 lumens, external cameras capable of capturing stunning 4K footage, and an underwater laser scanner. Despite its remarkable capabilities, the submersible’s interior space is rather cramped, accommodating a total of five individuals, including the pilot. The presence of a restroom, albeit positioned inconveniently close to a window, provides basic facilities for the occupants. Moreover, the vessel boasts a real-time hull health monitoring (RTM) system, ensuring that the crew can meticulously analyze and respond to any alterations in pressure as the Titan descends into the abyss.
The Titan serves a diverse range of purposes, fulfilling vital roles in site surveys, inspections, research and data collection, film and media production, as well as hardware and software testing. Its inaugural dive to a depth of 4,000 meters took place in December 2018, followed by subsequent successful expeditions in 2021 and 2022. However, a previous incident during a dive last year revealed a temporary loss of communication with surface controllers, resulting in a two-and-a-half-hour ordeal. Fortunately, the submersible was eventually recovered unscathed, and passengers were offered the opportunity to repeat their adventure.
OceanGate Expeditions, a private company founded in 2009, is the proud owner of the Titan submersible. Established to provide crewed submersible services for researchers and explorers seeking to delve into the secrets of the ocean’s depths, OceanGate is based in Everett, Washington. The CEO of the company, Stockton Rush, also serves as the pilot on the current voyage, which has unfortunately witnessed the Titan’s mysterious disappearance. OceanGate possesses two additional submersibles, Cyclops 1 and Antipodes, although their capabilities are relatively modest, limited to depths of 500 meters and 350 meters, respectively. Cyclops 1 played a crucial role as a testing vessel during the development phase of the Titan.
The control system employed by the Titan submersible is both intriguing and unconventional. The pilot skillfully maneuvers the vessel using a reinforced PlayStation controller.
The submersible does not rely on GPS for navigation; instead, the pilot receives guidance via text messages transmitted through an ultra-short baseline (USBL) acoustic system from the “mother ship” launch and recovery platform situated above.