September 29, 2011

Facts: Secret Access Titanic The Final Secret

  • Bob Ballard actually began his military career in the Army through the ROTC as an undergraduate as his school did not offer a Navy program. He trained to be an intelligence officer. During graduate school, he completed an Inter-Service Transfer to the Navy and would go on to complete his active service requirement with them between 1966 and 1970.

  • Bob Ballard rejoined the US Navy in 1982 as a Commander in the Reserves. He remained in this position until he resigned his commission in 2001.

  • Bob Ballard conducted multiple top secret and classified missions for the US Navy both before and after the discovery of the Titanic.

  • The Titanic’s fatal collision with an iceberg happened at 11:40pm on 14 April 1912. She went under at 2:20am on 15 April 1912. The next time she was seen was 1:05am on 1 September 1985 when the submersible Argo transmitted an image of the downed liner’s boiler to the crew of the Knorr above.

  • The RMS in RMS Titanic stands for Royal Mail Steamer. That means that the ship was licensed by the Royal Mail to carry mail overseas. This designation was only issued to the fastest ships due to the time sensitive nature of mail and therefore was a great asset to a ship.

  • RMS Titanic was owned by the White Star Line. In 1934, hit hard by the Great Depression, White Star was forced to merge with Cunard who was in a similar position becoming Cunard White Star. White Star’s fleet was smaller than Cunard’s and in 1949 Cunard succeeded in acquiring the last of White Star’s assets and formally reverted to the name Cunard. In 1998, Cunard was bought up by Carnival Cruises and is now a brand name in the Carnival family.

  • Nuclear submarines can stay submerged for extremely long times, and in fact the length of time between surfacings is primarily dictated by the need for food and other supplies. The submarine gets air through hatches and doors when in port or a snorkel when near the surface, which is scrubbed and recirculated. On lengthy dives, it can actually make its own oxygen extracting oxygen molecules from seawater through electrolysis.

  • Because of limited capacity, every person on board a submarine is trained to operate and repair every system and piece of equipment on the ship.

  • In 1955, the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, set a distance and submergence record at the time for traveling 1,381 miles in 89.9 hours (New London, CT to San Juan, Puerto Rico).

  • Ships in the US Navy are divided into classes according to their basic design and the class bears the name of the first of its design commissioned by Congress. The USS Scorpion was an SSN-585 Skipjack class submarine. The USS Thresher was an SSN-593 Thresher class. After the loss of the Thresher, the class was renamed for the second ship, SSN-594 Permit class.

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