Unique collaboration between space and subsea industry leaders creates vast opportunities for deep ocean research and discovery.
OCEANGATE, INC. (OceanGate) worked in consultation with a team of engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama throughout the development and manufacturing of Titan, the world’s only carbon fiber and titanium submersible capable of carrying five crew members to the wreck of the RMS Titanic at 3,800 meters. This achievement marks the beginning of a new era of exploration offering a vast range of opportunities for deep-sea investigation and scientific research.
As shared in the NASA Analog Fact Sheet: One of the most extreme environments on Earth is the ocean. Not only is the ocean harsh and unpredictable, it also provides many parallels to the challenges of living and working in space.
NASA’s collaboration with OceanGate was made possible through the Space Act. The Space Act was designed to benefit both NASA’s diverse missions, including the Artemis program and future exploration initiatives, and organizations like OceanGate.
NASA’s expertise in the design and automated fiber placement lay up of composite hulls was extremely valuable on this project,” says Stockton Rush, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, OceanGate, Inc. “The ability to construct Titan’s pressure hull with aerospace grade carbon fiber and manufacturing protocols results in a submersible which weighs a fraction of what other deep diving crewed submersibles weigh. This weight reduction allows us to carry a significantly greater payload which we use to carry five crewmembers: a pilot, researchers, and mission specialists. Titan represents a consequential step forward for human exploration of the ocean which few realize constitutes 99% of Earth’s livable volume.
NASA Space Shuttle Astronaut, Dr. Scott Parazynski provides additional perspective:Exploration of our deep oceans is imperative to gaining a better understanding of our blue planet. Spending many weeks in space as a NASA astronaut looking down upon our planet gave me a deeper appreciation for the fragility of our planet,” says Dr. Scott Parazynski, OceanGate submersible pilot-in-training. “In 2021, I had the wonderful opportunity to dive to the Titanic site as an OceanGate Expeditions crewmember. This cutting-edge submersible technology has the power to change the way we explore our deep oceans and understand our planet. I look forward to our second expedition this summer,continues Parazynski.
OceanGate is doing for deep sea exploration, discovery, and research what companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, World View, and Virgin Galactic are doing for space exploration and discovery,” says Dr. Alan Stern, Scientist, planetary scientist, space program executive, author/speaker, and NASA-selected Virgin Galactic crew member. “I look forward to supporting OceanGate’s effort to document the Titanic and its role as a deep ocean artificial reef when I join the expedition as a crewmember this summer,says Stern.
In July and August 2021, OceanGate’s Titan submersible completed a series of dives over six-week period to the wreck of the RMS Titanic, which lies at 3800 meters on the floor of the North Atlantic. The success of this expedition represents the culmination of over a decade of design and development work. Plans are already in place for the 2022 Titanic Expedition which is comprised of five mission legs of 8 days each. The primary scientific objectives of the 2022 Titanic Expedition include studying and documenting the sea life that make the Titanic and surrounding area home and continued exploration and discovery of the archaeology and history of the important maritime heritage site. The expedition will begin in June and will embark from St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Maritime and subsea industry professionals and scientists interested in learning more about OceanGate’s 5-crewmember submersible advancements can learn more at www.oceangate.com.
Aspiring Mission Specialists interested in supporting the 2022 Titanic Expedition should contact OceanGate Expeditions regarding availability, requirements, and qualifications. Additional details are available at www.oceangateexpeditions.com.