The Titan, the ship that vanished on Monday (June 19) in the vicinity of the Titanic wreck in the North Atlantic, is categorised as a submersible, not a submarine, as it depends on a support platform to deploy and recover.
The Titan, operated by OceanGate Expeditions of Everett, Washington, is a submersible that can carry five people—a pilot and four crew members—to depths of up to 4,000 metres (13,100 feet), according to the company’s website. These purposes include “site survey and inspection, research and data collection, film and media production, and deep sea testing of hardware and software.”
It is stated as weighing roughly 21,000 pounds, measuring 22 feet by 9.2 feet by 8.3 feet, and providing 96 hours of “life support” for five people. It is made of titanium and carbon fibre.
According under the website, the Titan, one of three varieties of crewed submersibles run by OceanGate, is outfitted with a platform resembling a ship’s dry dock that launches and recovers the vehicle.
“The platform is used to launch and recover manned submersibles by flooding its flotation tanks with water for a controlled descent to a depths of 9.1 meters (30 feet) to avoid any surface turbulence,” according to the website.
“Once submerged, the platform uses a patented motion-dampening flotation system to remain coupled to the surface yet still provide a stable underwater platform from which our manned submersibles lift off of and return to after each dive,” the site continues. “At the conclusion of each dive, the sub lands on the submerged platform and the entire system is brought to the surface in approximately two minutes by filling the ballast tanks with air.”
In order to access over 50% of the world’s oceans, OceanGate refers to the Titan as the only crewed submersible in the world that can carry five people as deep as 4,000 metres. The Titan, in contrast to other submersibles, is equipped with a system that, according to the website, can analyse how pressure changes impact the craft as it descends deeper. This technology provides “early warning detection for the pilot with enough time to arrest the descent and safely return to surface.”
Deep-sea expeditions involving the Titanic were started by the Titan in 2021. The vessel was reportedly “rebuilt” when OceanGate discovered through testing that the vessel could not handle the pressure of a 4,000-meter dive. This information was provided by the tech news website GeekWire.