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Alvin's right jab


Somewhere during the 47-year life of the deep-submergence vehicle Alvin, someone found that padded boxing gloves did a perfect job of protecting the submerisble's manipulator arms while it sat on deck. The practice has since become a sort of tradition. Alvin is currently in the first stage of an upgrade in which it will get a new titanium sphere that provides researchers and pilots more room and better visibility. In a planned Stage 2 phase, the entire sub will be upgraded to be able to reach depths of 6,500 meters. New batteries will be added to enable the submersible to stay at depth longer, giving scientists more time to work in unexplored parts of the ocean and putting 98 percent of the seafloor within their reach. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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