Oceanography: Deep-Down Submarines

The loss of the nuclear submarine Thresher last year in 8,400 ft. of water was a painful reminder of just how much of the ocean bottom lies below the Navy's reach. The bathyscaphe Trieste could dive to the general area of the Thresher's wreck, but it could not do much that was worthwhile when it got there. Instruments and grappling devices operated from surface ships were all but useless in strong currents and rough seas.

Urged on by the disaster, work on deep-submergence systems has been picking up pace ever since. The Navy...

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