Titanic

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Robert Ballard

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While Ballard had been interested in the sea since an early age, his work at Woods Hole and his scuba diving experiences off Massachusetts spurred his interest in shipwrecks and their exploration. His work in the Navy had involved assisting the development of small, unmanned submersibles which could be tethered to and controlled from a surface ship, and were outfitted with lighting, cameras, and manipulator arms. As early as 1973, Ballard saw this as way of searching for the wreck of ''Titanic''. In 1977, he led his first expedition, which was unsuccessful.
 
While Ballard had been interested in the sea since an early age, his work at Woods Hole and his scuba diving experiences off Massachusetts spurred his interest in shipwrecks and their exploration. His work in the Navy had involved assisting the development of small, unmanned submersibles which could be tethered to and controlled from a surface ship, and were outfitted with lighting, cameras, and manipulator arms. As early as 1973, Ballard saw this as way of searching for the wreck of ''Titanic''. In 1977, he led his first expedition, which was unsuccessful.
   
In the summer of 1985, Ballard was aboard the French research ship ''Le Suroît'', which was using the side scan sonar ''SAR'' to search for''Titanic''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s wreck. When the French ship was recalled, Ballard transferred onto a ship from Woods Hole, the R/V ''Knorr''. Unbeknownst to some, this trip was being financed by the U.S. Navy specifically for secret reconnaissance of the wreckage of two Navy nuclear powered attack submarines, the USS ''Scorpion'' and the USS ''Thresher'', that sank in the 1960s and not for ''Titanic''. Back in 1982, Ballard approached the Navy about his new deep sea underwater robot craft, the ''Argo'', and his search for ''Titanic''.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> The Navy was not interested in spending that kind of money in searching for the large ocean liner. However, they were interested in finding out what happened to their missing submarines and ultimately concluded that ''Argo'' was their best chance to do so.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> The Navy agreed it would finance Ballard's ''Titanic'' search only if he first searched for and investigated the two sunken submarines,<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> find out the state of their nuclear reactors after being submerged for such a long period of time,<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> and if their radioactivity was impacting the environment.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> Ballard would be placed on temporary active duty in the Navy, in charge of finding and investigating the wrecks. After the two missions were completed, time and funding permitting, Ballard would be free to use the resources to hunt for ''Titanic''.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> After their missions for the Navy, ''Knorr'' arrived on site on August 22, 1985,<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Discovery-4]</ref> and deployed ''Argo''. When they searched for the two submarines, Ballard and his team discovered that they had imploded from the immense pressure depth.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> That implosion littered thousands of pieces of debris all over the ocean floor.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> Following each of the submarines' large trail of debris led Ballard and his team directly to both of them<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> and made it significantly easier for them to locate the submarines than if they were to search for the hulls directly.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> Ballard already knew that ''Titanic'' imploded from pressure depth as well, much the same way the two submarines did, and concluded that it too must have also left a scattered debris trail.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> Using that lesson, Ballard and his team had ''Argo'' sweep back and forth across the ocean floor looking for ''Titanic's'' debris trail.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Discovery-4]</ref> Ballard's team took shifts monitoring the video feed from ''Argo'' as it searched the monotonous ocean floor two miles below. In the early morning hours of September 1, 1985, observers noted anomalies on the otherwise smooth ocean floor. At first, it was pockmarks, like small craters from impacts. Eventually debris was sighted as the rest of the team was awakened. Finally, a [[boiler]] was sighted, and soon after that, the hull itself was found. Ballard's team made a general search of the vessel's exterior, noting its condition. Most significantly they confirmed that ''Titanic'' had in fact split in two, and that the stern was in far worse shape than the rest of the ship. Ballard's team did not have much time to explore, as others were waiting to take ''Knorr'' on other scientific pursuits, but his fame was now assured. Ballard originally planned to keep the exact location a secret to prevent anyone from claiming prizes from the wreck. Ballard considered the site a cemetery, and refused to desecrate it by removing artifacts from the wreck. On July 12, 1986, Ballard and his team returned on board ''Atlantis II'' <ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Discovery-4]</ref> to make the first detailed study of the wreck. This time, Ballard brought ''[[DSV Alvin|Alvin]]'', a deep diving submersible which could hold a small crew ''Alvin'' was accompanied by ''Jason Junior'', a small remotely operated vehicle which could fit through small openings to see into the ship's interior. While the first dive (taking over two hours to dive down) saw technical problems, subsequent dives were far more successful, and produced a detailed photographic record of the wreck's condition.
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In the summer of 1985, Ballard was aboard the French research ship ''Le Suroît'', which was using the side scan sonar ''SAR'' to search for''Titanic''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s wreck. When the French ship was recalled, Ballard transferred onto a ship from Woods Hole, the R/V ''Knorr''. Unbeknownst to some, this trip was being financed by the U.S. Navy specifically for secret reconnaissance of the wreckage of two Navy nuclear powered attack submarines, the USS ''Scorpion'' and the USS ''Thresher'', that sank in the 1960s and not for ''Titanic''. Back in 1982, Ballard approached the Navy about his new deep sea underwater robot craft, the ''Argo'', and his search for ''Titanic''.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> The Navy was not interested in spending that kind of money in searching for the large ocean liner. However, they were interested in finding out what happened to their missing submarines and ultimately concluded that ''Argo'' was their best chance to do so.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> The Navy agreed it would finance Ballard's ''Titanic'' search only if he first searched for and investigated the two sunken submarines,<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> find out the state of their nuclear reactors after being submerged for such a long period of time,<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> and if their radioactivity was impacting the environment.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> Ballard would be placed on temporary active duty in the Navy, in charge of finding and investigating the wrecks. After the two missions were completed, time and funding permitting, Ballard would be free to use the resources to hunt for ''Titanic''.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Navy-3]</ref> After their missions for the Navy, ''Knorr'' arrived on site on August 22, 1985,<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Discovery-4]</ref> and deployed ''Argo''. When they searched for the two submarines, Ballard and his team discovered that they had imploded from the immense pressure depth.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> That implosion littered thousands of pieces of debris all over the ocean floor.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> Following each of the submarines' large trail of debris led Ballard and his team directly to both of them<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> and made it significantly easier for them to locate the submarines than if they were to search for the hulls directly.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> Ballard already knew that ''Titanic'' imploded from pressure depth as well, much the same way the two submarines did, and concluded that it too must have also left a scattered debris trail.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Cover_up-5]</ref> Using that lesson, Ballard and his team had ''Argo'' sweep back and forth across the ocean floor looking for ''Titanic's'' debris trail.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Discovery-4]</ref> Ballard's team took shifts monitoring the video feed from ''Argo'' as it searched the monotonous ocean floor two miles below. In the early morning hours of September 1, 1985, observers noted anomalies on the otherwise smooth ocean floor. At first, it was pockmarks, like small craters from impacts. Eventually debris was sighted as the rest of the team was awakened. Finally, a [[boiler]] was sighted, and soon after that, the hull itself was found. Ballard's team made a general search of the vessel's exterior, noting its condition. Most significantly they confirmed that ''Titanic'' had in fact split in two, and that the stern was in far worse shape than the rest of the ship. Ballard's team did not have much time to explore, as others were waiting to take ''Knorr'' on other scientific pursuits, but his fame was now assured. Ballard originally planned to keep the exact location a secret to prevent anyone from claiming prizes from the wreck. Ballard considered the site a cemetery, and refused to desecrate it by removing artifacts from the wreck. On July 12, 1986, Ballard and his team returned on board ''Atlantis II'' <ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ballard#cite_note-Discovery-4]</ref> to make the first detailed study of the wreck. This time, Ballard brought ''Alvin'', a deep diving submersible which could hold a small crew ''Alvin'' was accompanied by ''Jason Junior'', a small remotely operated vehicle which could fit through small openings to see into the ship's interior. While the first dive (taking over two hours to dive down) saw technical problems, subsequent dives were far more successful, and produced a detailed photographic record of the wreck's condition.
   
 
===''Bismarck''===
 
===''Bismarck''===
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