OceanGate starts building deep-sea submersible

Image: Cyclops 2
An artist’s conception shows the Cyclops 2 submersible craft. (OceanGate Illustration)

The company that helped map the wreck of the Andrea Doria is moving forward with the construction of a submersible craft that can go much, much deeper – 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) deep, or two and a half miles below the ocean surface.

OceanGate announced on Dec. 8 that it has officially begun construction of the five-person Cyclops 2 submersible. The company, based in Everett, Wash., has been working on the design and engineering for the 22-foot-long craft in cooperation with the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Lab since 2013.

Over the past year, OceanGate has been pressure-testing a one-third-scale model of Cyclops 2 in preparation for moving ahead with the full-scale vehicle.

“Construction of Cyclops 2 is a significant milestone in human exploration of the ocean,” OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush said in a news release. “When completed, it will be the only privately owned submersible in the world that can take five people to these depths.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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