THE OCEAN FLOOR: THE LAST FRONTIER

LURED BY THE PROMISE OF MAJOR SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGHS AND GREAT MINERAL WEALTH, RESEARCHERS MOUNT AN ASSAULT ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA

Sometime this fall, if all goes well, a revolutionary new undersea vessel will be lowered gently into the waters of Monterey Bay for its maiden voyage. Named Deep Flight I, the 14-ft.-long, 2,900-lb. vehicle is shaped like a chubby, winged torpedo but flies like an underwater bird. Compared with the hard-to-maneuver submersibles that now haul deep-sea explorers sluggishly around the oceans, Deep Flight is an aquatic F-16 fighter. It can perform barrel rolls, race a fast-moving pod of whales or leap vertically right out of the sea. With a touch on the controls, a skilled pilot--who lies prone in a body...

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