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Atlantis A-frame test

Heavy Load

A shipyard rigger (left) joins Ronnie Whims (center) and Patrick Hennessy of the R/V Atlantis to observe a test of the ship’s new A-frame (not visible). Atlantis is the support ship for the human occupied vehicle Alvin, which is undergoing a major upgrade. Because the rebuilt Alvin will be larger and heavier than it was before, the equipment that is used to lift it during launch and recovery also had to be upgraded. In the test shown here, the A-frame lifted 100,000 pounds—about double what the sub will weigh. The yellow "spreader bar" allows the weights to be distributed in a way that simulates the shape of the submarine. (Photo by Dutch Wegman, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution )


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