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REMUS 6000

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Two REMUS 6000 AUVs like this will survey the wreck of the Titanic and the surrounding debris field for signs of deterioration and of undersea life. (Photo by Brennan Phillips, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Titanic's state rooms

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In 1986, WHOI researchers explored the hull of the Titanic with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason Jr. (above), which was designed and built in six months for the expedition. (Copyright © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution )



Nearly 25 years after WHOI first discovered the final resting place of the RMS Titanic, researchers will this week return to the site to conduct the first comprehensive survey of the wreckage. The expedition is being organized by RMS Titanic, Inc., the company that was awarded ownership rights to the wreckage as salvor-in-possession in 1994, and is co-led by David Gallo, WHOI’s director of special projects.

WHOI researchers will help their expedition colleagues map the ship’s hull and debris field in high definition and in three dimensions. Large portions of the wreckage are believed to be in danger of collapse after nearly a century 2.5 miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic. Their images and data will help provide a detailed picture of the condition of the wreck. In addition, many deep-sea animals have made the hull their home, and studying the wreckage as a marine ecosystem may help scientists who study deep-water reefs and the unique plants and animals that inhabit the deep ocean.

In addition to Dr. Gallo, WHOI research specialist Bill Lange, who was part of the original group to discover the site, and members of the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) REMUS operating group will accompany the expedition to the North Atlantic.

  • Learn more about the history and discovery of the Titanic in 1985 as well as the return expedition the following year and the Titanic’s legacy to science.
  • Follow David Gallo’s Twitter feed from the deck and labs of the Jean Charcot.
  • Learn more, view photos and videos and receive regular updates on Expedition Titanic’s web site and Facebook page.
  • Learn more about the REMUS 6000 AUV and watch one being deployed from the stern of the U.S. Navy research vessel Bruce C. Heezen.


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Last updated: December 5, 2012