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From the Archives

Until the early 1980s, the 105-foot catamaran Lulu served as the support vessel for the deep submergence vehicle Alvin. Here, engineers use a pedestal crane on the WHOI pier to conduct a stability test on the sub's pressure-resistent sphere, which carried a pilot and two passengers below the surface. Keeping Alvin in optimal working and diving condition is still paramount today—in 2014, it completed a major upgrade). Lulu retired from service after 119 expeditons. Since then, research vessels Atlantis II and Atlantis have served as Alvin's support vessels. (Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)


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