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OceanGate Inc. plans to explore the Titanic shipwreck in May 2018 using their latest technology.
Founded in 2009 by Stockton Rush and Guillermo Söhnlein [suh n-leen], OceanGate Inc. is a private company that specializes in aiding researchers in underwater exploration and film and media production. Using their manned submersibles, OceanGate aspires to have a better documentation of the current state of the Titanic. According to Rush, the company also targets to examine the vessel’s rate of metal decay underwater.
The expedition, which is expected to last for seven weeks, will be manned by twenty people including a pilot, a mission specialist, marine biologists, and nautical archaeologists.
The Cyclops 2, a submersible developed by OceanGate, will transport five people to the Titanic’s location. The submersible’s outer structure is made of carbon fiber, a type of material that can help it withstand deep-sea pressure. Although there were doubts on the use of carbon fiber in building the submersible, Rush assured that they found a way to make it possible. Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory (AIVL) will also provide the technology to document the shipwreck.
This is not the first time that technology was used as an aid in an underwater exploration. In 2012, filmmaker James Cameron explored the deepest part of the earth – the Challenger Deep, which is an undersea valley in the Mariana Trench. In this quest, he used a submersible called Deepsea Challenger, which had mechanical arms for collecting research samples. He was also aided by remote-controlled vehicles that were equipped with 3D cameras.