Titanic History of Explorations


Using two AUVs a 3x5 mile comprehensive photo mosaic of the debris field is created from over 130,000 high resolution images. 3D mapping of the main wreck is completed to “virtually preserve” the site. READ MORE...

David Concannon

David Concannon led a crew from the History Channel to film the special, “Titanic’s Final Moments – Missing Pieces”. Along with the main wreck they explored the debris field to the east of the stern, presenting new theories about how the Titanic may have sunk.

James Cameron

Third and final trip to film “Last Mysteries of the Titanic”. Accomplishes the furthest ROV penetration of the wreck into the Turkish Baths and the First-Class Cabins.

Harris Expedition

Private charter venture aboard the Keldysh/Mir by Michael Harris who had visited the site seven times prior. His son, Sebastian, at 13 years old becomes the youngest visitor to Titanic.


Last “Operation Titanic” tourist dive mission

RMS Titanic, Inc. (RMSTI)

This seventh mission utilized a ROV rather than manned submersibles to map new areas and recover more artifacts.


Aboard the Keldysh, four dives in two days are conducted in 2003 to assess the current condition of wreck site specifically targeting the stern section. In 2004, Robert Ballard returns to Titanic 20 years after its discovery, to study the rapid deterioration of the ship. Nat Geo broadcasts the special, “Return to Titanic”, which includes a live underwater telecast from the wreck.

James Cameron

Twelve tandem dives with Mir’s I and II, are conducted. Some 900 hours of video is shot combining high definition 3D footage of the exterior and deep interior exploration of the wreck with state of the art mini ROVs, resulting in the Walt Disney Pictures’ documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss.

Zegrahm DeepSea/SubSea Explorer

Also in conjunction with the Russian Academy of Sciences aboard the Keldysh and the Mirs. American Couple David Leibowitz and Kimberly Miller are married aboard the submersible on the bow of the wreck. Philip Littlejohn, the grandson of a surviving crew member, is the first relative of a Titanic passenger or crew to visit the wreck.

Zegrahm DeepSea/DOE

In tandem with the P.P. Shirshov Institute aboard the Keldysh. Only 10 dives are made by the Mirs due to the NS Kursk disaster in the Barents sea.

RMS Titanic Inc.

Utilizing the P.P. SIO vessel Keldysh, and the two Mir submersibles, made 28 dives in 14 days, recovering over 800 artifacts.


Second “Operation Titanic” expedition.

Deep Ocean Expeditions (DOE)

“Operation Titanic”, the first tourist dives to the wreck, using the Keldysh and the Mirs.


The “Big Piece” is successfully recovered. A live fiber-optic video link from the wreck is the first accomplished. A new debris field, west of the stern section is discovered. The Discovery Channel produces five hours of programming.


Unsuccessfully attempt to raise the “Big Piece”. Securing ropes broke due to rough weather with the piece only 200 ft. from the surface. Scientific analyses of microbial deterioration of the wreck. Discovery Channel documentary filming.

James Cameron

Chartered the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh and the MIRs to make 12 dives to Titanic. He used the resulting footage to considerable effect in his blockbuster 1997 film “Titanic”.


The third survey and artifact recovery mission. 18 dives in the Nautile are made, removing over 1,000 objects. The “Big Piece”, a 15 by 25 foot, 19-ton section of the hull, is first measured for later recovery.


Returned to the wreck with Nautile and the ROV Robin in June 1993. Over the course of fifteen days, Nautile made fifteen dives lasting between eight and twelve hours. Another 800 artefacts were recovered during the expedition including a two-ton piece of a reciprocating engine, a lifeboat davit, and the steam whistle from the ship's forward funnel.

P.P. Shirsov Institute of Oceanology

Aboard the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, used the manned submersibles, Mir I and Mir II, to film the IMAX movie “Titanica”. The MIRs carried out 17 dives, spending over 140 hours at the bottom, shooting 40,000 feet (12,000 m) of IMAX film


Utilizing IFREMER’s manned submersible Nautile, the expedition team made 32 dives and conducts the first salvage of Titanic artifacts, recovering some 1,800 objects.

WHOI – Robert Ballard

Returned to the wreck with the manned submersible, Alvin, and the ROV Jason Jr. Along with data from 1985, resulted in the assembly of a preliminary site map of the wreck site and debris field.


Joint American/French team led by Robert Ballard. On September 1st, the Titanic debris field is first sited using the towed camera array Argo and the ROV Jason

Jack Grimm

Texas millionaire, funded several explorations to search for the wreck. Notable in that his surveys showed where Titanic wasn’t. Missed the wreck by a mile and a half.