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R/V Knorr departing the WHOI dock for the Long Core test cruise, 8/28/07.

Long-Awaited Debut

On August 28, 2007, the R/V Knorr left the WHOI dock to test a new long coring system. The test cruise is a major milestone and represents a tremendous achievement for a project that has required considerable engineering ingenuity. The long core system will extract 45-meter (150-foot) cores from the seafloor— nearly twice as long and five times as heavy as existing coring systems in the U.S. fleet. Its development required the installation of approximately 50 tons of steel reinforcement on the ship to accommodate the instrument, which weighs more than 30,000 pounds. The system also required the development of an extremely strong, custom-made synthetic rope that—even with a 35,000-pound load hanging in 15,000 feet of water—will stretch less than 10 feet. (Photo by Dave Gray, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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