Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

The Titan Sub prototype was lost near Seattle Bay, and the iPhone used it to reorient itself

By meerna Jun12,2024

It’s been almost a year since OceanGate’s Titan submarine exploded while descending the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to see the wreck of the Titanic. Stockton Rush, the company’s CEO, and four others died immediately after the ship was crushed. Wire took a second look at the submarine’s problematic development and the warning signs it ignored.

Titan was not the first OceanGate submarine. Before building the doomed one carbon fiber tube, the company constructed the Cyclops as a steel-hulled prototype to test the concept. Wired Mark Harris went with Rush in the prototype on a very illustrative trip to Elliott Bay in Seattle. He explained:

Ninety minutes later and 130 meters deeper, we were completely lost. First, the thruster software failed and we found ourselves hovering just above the seabed. Now the submarine’s compass began to work. The shipwreck we wanted to explore, the train ferry that once carried Teddy Roosevelt, was nowhere to be seen. The only thing I could observe beyond the Cyclops’ front dome were the occasional salmon dancing in the icy water.

As I began to feel the cold seep through the submarine’s steel hull, Rush asked me to open the compass app on my iPhone. He wanted to compare it with the one on his phone. The headlines didn’t add up, but he restarted the thrusters and we headed in what he thought was the right direction.

“You’re going in exactly the wrong direction,” said a faint voice transmitted over an acoustic link from a support ship tracking us on the surface. We finally located the sunken ship, its rotting bow visible in the light of the Cyclops searchlight. It was an otherworldly experience, made even more exciting by the hint of danger.

Back at the dock, Rush shook off the problems we had encountered. That’s why OceanGate started with Cyclops 1, he said, and not with anything that could dive deeper. “I could have built a multimillion-dollar version, and suddenly I have to invent really stupid things like a magnetic compass,” he told me. “Cyclops 1 is preparing us. When we make Cyclops 2, all these bugs will be fixed.

Eventually, Cyclops 2 was renamed Titan. Be sure to read the entire article Wire to learn all the problems associated with carbon fiber construction such as Boeing production detailed, 70-page preliminary draft but denied involvement.

By meerna

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