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posted by martyb on Sunday December 16 2018, @05:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the real-story-'surfaces' dept.

In the 1980s oceanographer and Naval Reserve commanding officer Robert Ballard found the resting place of the Titanic. It turns out that as part of the deal to get funding for the search from the US Navy, he was to first find the two missing nuclear submarines, the Thresher and the Scorpion, both of which sank in the 1960s. After finding both submarines, he located the remains of the Titanic in only 8 days by finding and following its debris trail, leaving the last 4 days of the mission to examine the wreck.

It starts in 1982, when Ballard, who had performed a number of top-secret Naval missions during the Cold War, was developing his own remotely-operated underwater vehicle.

Unable to get science grants, he asked Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Ronald Thunman if the Navy would help fund his project. "He said, 'All my life I've wanted to go find the Titanic.' And I was taken aback by that," Thunman recalled. "I said, 'Come on, this is a serious, top secret operation. Find the Titanic? That's crazy!'"

Thunman did say yes, but only if Ballard used the funds and the time to find two missing U.S. nuclear submarines – the Thresher and the Scorpion – which had sunk in the Atlantic in the 1960s.

Earlier on SN:
Titanic Engineering Facts (2015)

Original Submission

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Titanic Engineering Facts 15 comments

For many people, the Titanic is only remembered for its tragic accident; but Bill Hammack (aka engineerguy) takes us on a tour through the fascinating engineering details that build not only the famous ship, but also its more successful siblings:

Bill shares fascinating images and information gleaned from the 1909 to 1911 editions of the Journal The Engineer. It includes photos of the construction of the Titanic and its twin the Olympic, the launching of these Olympic-class ships, and accidents that occurred. The video includes engineering details of the ship’s engines, steering mechanism, and propellers.

Bill made the [presentation] to some geek news sites a while back with an interesting analysis of a 100 year old mechanical computer that performed Fourier analysis.

First Full-sized 3D Scan of the Wreck of the Titanic 5 comments

Deep sea researchers have used two submersibles to make the first full, 3-dimensional scan of the wreck of the sunken passenger ship, The Titanic, including much of the 3-mile long debris field. This is a major step forward in evidence-based analysis of the wreck from over a hundred years ago.

The new scan was "devoid of that," he said, adding, "It is completely based on data and not human interpretation and that is why we are now seeing it in its larger context for the first time ever."

Atlantic Productions said "one major area of deterioration" had already been observed in the officers' quarters. "This included the room of Captain Edward John Smith and discovered that the iconic captain's bathtub has now disappeared from view," it added.

"Now we're getting objective, so we can get really serious with the science of understanding the wreck," Stephenson said.

He added that he was "absolutely convinced," that the photogrammetry model would now be used "not just for Titanic, but for all underwater exploration," because it "ushers in a new phase of exploration and analysis."

Much of the wreck lies in two main pieces, far apart from each other, at a depth of about 4,000 meters. Around 700k images where taken and stitched together to created the model.

(2022) Researchers Discover Wreck of Ship that Tried to Warn the Titanic
(2022) OceanGate Ramps Up the Research for its Second Deep-sea Expedition to the Titanic
(2020) An Aurora that Lit Up the Sky Over the Titanic Might Explain Why It Sank
(2020) US Court Grants Permission to Recover Marconi Telegraph from Titanic's Wreckage [Updated]
(2018) Finding the Titanic with ROVs and Navy Funding

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  • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday December 16 2018, @06:25AM (2 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday December 16 2018, @06:25AM (#775069) Homepage

    I worked in the industry, but I did not have security clearance and don't know the stories. So I'm guessing what this article implies is that he had map data which gave him a place to look. What I'm trying to say is, that this was a problem that was solved with intelligence data rather than proper oceanographic exploration.

    On the surface (heh) they try to make it sound like that they had awesome underwater technology to discover the remains later, but based on what I know about the operating depth of subs and modern SONAR technology, to have discovered that all back then based on the official story smells fishy. Somebody knew.

    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Sunday December 16 2018, @01:02PM

      by richtopia (3160) on Sunday December 16 2018, @01:02PM (#775095) Homepage Journal

      I just flipped through the Wikipedia articles, and the Navy had already found the wrecks during the 60s soon after the boats sank. I suspect the navy's requirements for Ballard are due to the depth of the wreckages: Thresher at 2,560 meters and Scorpion at 3,000 meters. For perspective the Titanic is at 3,700 meters.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16 2018, @04:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16 2018, @04:13PM (#775115)

      Quit being so stupid. You're actually depressing the collective IQ of the world.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16 2018, @08:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 16 2018, @08:42AM (#775081)

    What happened with the nuclear submarines? What did the reactors do when the shit went down under the sea?

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday December 16 2018, @12:13PM (2 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <> on Sunday December 16 2018, @12:13PM (#775090) Homepage Journal

    The captain who interviewed me wanted me to be a submarine reactor operator

    If you don't know what "Kirsk" means, don't find out.

    Yes I Have No Bananas. []
    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday December 16 2018, @12:47PM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 16 2018, @12:47PM (#775094) Journal

      In a gallows humor fashion, it's always funny when the uninformed want to "rescue" the crewmen after a submarine disaster. I remember the publicity surrounding the disaster.

      We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17 2018, @03:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17 2018, @03:42AM (#775277)

        Twenty three men in the rear compartments survived the explosion and sinking of the Kursk, but it was too deep to safely use the escape hatch, and they couldn't reach the lifeboat in the conning tower. They all died when an emergency oxygen generator caught fire, but it is known that they lived for at least six hours due to notes they left behind. If not for the fire, it is estimated they could have lived for about three days, which should have been plenty of time to get a rescue sub to them.