Everett, WA - June 27, 2018 - OceanGate announces successful completion of depth tests validating the carbon fiber and titanium hull of their manned submersible, Titan, to a depth of 4,000 meters (13,123 feet). Titan is the world’s first privately owned 5-man submersible to reach this depth and opens 50% of the ocean to manned exploration. Designed and engineered by OceanGate, Titan is scheduled to survey the wreck of the RMS Titanic in 2019, in what will be the first manned exploration of the world’s most famous shipwreck since 2005.
As part of Titan’s extensive testing program, the OceanGate team conducted a series of unmanned dives by lowering the submersible on monofilament line incrementally to 4,000 meters. Onboard the sub, strain gauges and acoustic sensors measured the health of the hull, providing data for the team to analyze between dives. These sensors are permanently mounted in the sub and give the pilot real-time feedback on hull behavior on all manned dives.
The cable test was just one phase in a test program that began nearly three years ago with the construction of a one-third scale model of the pressure vessel and the launching of Cyclops 1. The scale model underwent four rigorous pressure tests in a chamber at the University of Washington, which validated carbon fiber as a viable material for the hull design. Following the cable test, Stockton Rush, OceanGate’s CEO and Chief Pilot, will dive solo in incremental depths until reaching 4,000 meters; In doing so, he will join James Cameron as one of only two people in history to solo dive to this depth.
Marsh Harbour and Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas was selected as the site for the cable tests and manned dives due to easy access to deep ocean just 15 miles off shore, a nearby international airport, a supportive local community, and the opportunity to establish an operational base for extensive exploration in the area. “The deep ocean is hiding amazing corals, unexplored shipwrecks, and who knows how many undiscovered species,” said Rush. “We want to go explore and show the world what we find.”
OceanGate plans to remain in the Bahamas to conduct pilot training, deep sea operations training and local expeditions until departing in June 2019 to St. John’s, Newfoundland for the 2019 Titanic Survey Expedition. The six-week expedition invites up to nine qualified citizen explorers to join the crew as mission specialists for week-long missions. Up to 54 people will join the expedition and work alongside content experts and researchers to digitally document and preserve the historic site before it disappears forever.
Renata Rojas, an accomplished scuba diver and explorer, was among the first to sign up to join the Titanic Survey Expedition as a mission specialist. “Seeing the Titanic has been a life-long dream, and OceanGate is making that dream a reality.” Said Rojas, “I have been fortunate enough to see the development of Titan from start to finish, and I couldn’t be more confident in the OceanGate team.”
OceanGate Inc. is a privately held company based in Everett, Washington. Founded in 2009, the company provides manned submersible services for industry, research, and exploration. OceanGate currently owns and operates two 5-person submersibles that provide deep-sea access for underwater site survey and inspection, scientific research, technology testing, and film production.