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Titanic sub’s launch pad is ready for liftoff

OceanGate platform
Workers install an air tank on the mobile subsea platform that OceanGate will use to deploy its Cyclops 2 submersible. (OceanGate Photo)

Construction work is complete for an essential part of the dive system that’s due to carry scientists and amateur adventurers down to the world-famous Titanic shipwreck this summer.

The nearly 11-ton mobile subsea platform will be used to launch a five-person submersible into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, and bring it back to the surface at the end of each dive.

Everest Marine. a division of Burlington, Wash.-based Penn Cove Shellfish, spent five months on the custom fabrication of the 38-foot-long aluminum platform. It’s designed to be used with the Cyclops 2 deep-sea submersible that’s been assembled by OceanGate at its headquarters in Everett, Wash.

The submersible and its platform are due to go through a round of shallow-water dives in Puget Sound this month, followed by deep-water testing in the Bahamas in April.

Those tests will lead up to the inaugural Titanic campaign in June, which will make a series of dives to the ship’s remains, 13,000 feet beneath the surface of the North Atlantic.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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