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Robot sub reaches deepest ocean

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posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 08:06 AM

A robotic sub called Nereus has reached the deepest-known part of the ocean. The dive to 10,902m (6.8 miles) took place on 31 May, at the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean. This makes Nereus the deepest-diving vehicle currently in service and the first vehicle to explore the Marianas Trench since 1998. Source


Currently, the deepest-rated vehicles are able to descend to 6,500m, allowing scientists access to 95% of the seafloor.

Nereus aims to change this to 100%, whilst also allowing scientists to survey a much larger area than vehicles like Kaiko.

It is able to do this by switching between two different configurations - free-swimming and tethered - depending on the type of mission.

"The autonomous vehicle, as the name sounds, has autonomy from the human operators onboard the ship," explained Mr Bowen.

In this configuration, Nereus is able to fly pre-programmed missions, mapping vast swathes of the seafloor.

"It has sufficient onboard intelligence and batteries … to find areas of particular interest through the use of chemical sensors, sonar and digital photography," said Mr Bowen.

Once complete, the submarine will automatically return to the ship where it can be converted to a remote-operated vehicle (Rov).

This involves adding a mechanical arm, which allows Nereus to gather samples and deploy instruments, as well as a single, 40km-long (25 mile) fibre optic cable that allows scientists to control the vessel from the ship.

Nereus (Νηρεύς), in Greek Mythology, was the eldest son of Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth), a Titan who (with Doris) fathered the Nereids, with whom Nereus lived in the Aegean Sea.[1] In the Iliad[2] the Old Man of the Sea (ἅλιος γέρων) is the father of Nereids, though Nereus is not directly named. He was one of the manifestations of the Old Man of the Sea, never more so than when he was described, like Proteus, as a shapeshifter with the power of prophecy, who would aid heroes such as Heracles[3] who managed to catch him even as he changed shapes. Nereus and Proteus ("first") seem to be two manifestations of the god of the sea who was supplanted by Poseidon when Zeus overthrew Cronus.Wiki

Well I think this is totally amazing, imagine the doors this opens. From ancient shipwrecks to new species of sea life, I cannot wait to see some of the results once Nereus starts to explore the depths.

[edit on 3-6-2009 by IamNow]

posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 08:16 AM
I cant wait until we start searching our oceans. I think we will find some really interesting things.

New species, archeology, past civilizations......who knows?

The fact that we know more about Mars and the Moon than our own oceans is sad i think.

posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 08:24 AM
reply to post by LiveForever8

Not to forget the "Hollow Earth" theory, WOW I can't wait well done to the lot of them.

[edit on 3-6-2009 by IamNow]

posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 08:27 AM
We know more about outer space than the bottom of our own oceans

posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 08:38 AM
they should send it to look for that plane crash that they say is at the bottom of the ocean and will never be found. then it would get way more publicity. if it wants it.

posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 08:44 AM
reply to post by Myendica

You never know mate, it sure would be a good first mission and I think it's more than capable of recovering the Black Box or even getting up close to inspect the damage if the plane isn’t broken up too much.


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