EVERETT —After a couple of deep dives, Titan is taking a breather.
The small but mighty sub, built by Everett’s OceanGate, completed its first expedition this summer to the RMS Titanic, one of the world’s most infamous shipwrecks.
Now, the five-man submersible is topside and on display at the Port of Everett through Dec. 27. Its crew will be on hand to explain how the the 23,000-pound sub works and how you can go for a ride.
“We’ll be out here a couple of days a week to get your questions answered,” said Kyle Bingham, the company’s expedition manager.
Here’s your chance to peer into the sub’s 10-foot long tube, and glimpse what a $250,000 round-trip ticket to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean gets you.
Some of the amenities: A padded stadium seat, sandwiches, bottled water and a restroom the size of a milk crate.
The vessel is parked a block north of Scuttlebutt Brewing near the boat launch. Look for a white, dagger-shaped shark with a five-inch thick carbon fiber hull that can withstand up to 160 million pounds of pressure. (And you thought the boss put pressure on you.)
The 10-day Titanic expedition includes eight days aboard a six-story, 300-foot support vessel with a crew of 50, Bingham said
But the highlight of the trip is the 13,000-foot, 10-hour dive to the Titanic at rest on the seafloor.
On April 15, 1912, four days into its maiden voyage, the Titanic struck an iceberg some 400 miles from Newfoundland, Canada. It took less than three hours for the then world’s largest ship to sink, killing 1,500 of its 2,240 passengers.
“We hold a memorial topside every time,” Bingham said.
Getting to the wreck takes two to three hours. The sub then spends about four or five hours surveying the ship.
OceanGate still has 10 to 12 available seats for this year’s Titanic expedition, which gets underway in May.
“It’s cheaper than space,” said Bingham.
To compare, an anonymous bidder paid $28 million for a seat on Amazon founder’s Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spacecraft this summer.
A seat on the Titan won’t take you very far. It’s only a 2.5 mile trip, versus 62 miles to the Karman line, the boundary between the earth’s atmosphere and space — the final frontier.
Both Blue Origin’s and Virgin Galactic’s flights reached the Karman line, and then some, at an average speed of 2,200 mph.
Titan, however, isn’t very fast. Speed demons need not apply.
The sub putters along at 2 to 3 mph, but the views out Titan’s 7-inch thick acrylic window, which forms the sub’s nose, are spectacular. And unlike a sub-orbital flight, there’s plenty of company en route, such as squid, octopuses and giant glow worms, said Kenneth Hauge, one of the company’s submersible pilots.
Titan’s controls may look familiar. They’re based on a Logitech video game controller, Hauge said. “If you can play a video game you can drive with, er, some instruction,” he said. “It’s pretty intuitive.”
OceanGate worked with NASA to build the fully-electric submarine. Lithium batteries, which charge overnight, power the sub, Hauge said.
In the spring, Titan will be trucked to Newfoundland, loaded onto a support vessel and readied for five dives.
Newfoundland isn’t Titan’s only destination. The sub is also scheduled to explore the Hudson Canyon, near the New York-New Jersey Harbor, at a depth of 10,500 feet.
The Hudson Canyon excursion is a bit easier on the pocketbook at $45,000 per person.
“These deep dive sessions were historically reserved for universities and governments,” Hauge said. “We want to open that door and offer access for people to participate. And, yes, there’s a cost, but it’s just like the cost to go to space.”
OceanGate is now building a new submersible that’s targeted to reach depths of 18,000 feet. The average ocean depth is about 13,000 feet and the deepest part of the ocean is at 36,000 feet.
For more information on visiting Titan, go to OceanGate’s Facebook Page at facebook.com/search/top?q=oceangate
Janice Podsada; email@example.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.
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