How low can you go? For those exploring our oceans, there will soon be a new answer to that question.
Alvin is a deep-sea mini-sub that can take scientists down more than fourteen thousand feet. Alvin has helped discover three hundred new species of animals and shipwrecks like the Titanic. It's helped with these discoveries, in part, because no other research sub could dive so deep. But a third of the ocean floor is beyond Alvin's reach -- and so a new sub has been designed. It should begin service in four years and its technology will allow all of us the chance to watch exciting discoveries as they're happening.
Dietrick: "I think the capabilities of the new vehicle with this real time communication of video back to shore in real time or near real time is going to be an enormously powerful way to engage people in ocean sciences and hopefully an appreciation of why we need to study the oceans and why it's important."
That's Robert Dietrick at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. He's leading the construction of the sub that will put more than ninety-nine percent of the ocean's floor within our sights. There are whole new creatures waiting to be discovered. Not aliens, but just earthling neighbors who've yet to introduce themselves. I'm Eric Phillips.
"Imagine That!" covers projects funded by the U.S. government's National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research -- brought to you by you! Learn more at nsf.gov.