World’s Deepest Diving Submarine Gets a $50 Million Makeover

Alvin, the submarine operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, has been used since 1964, but it’s finally getting an upgrade. Currently, Alvin can dive down to a maximum depth of 2.8 miles, but new replacement, which is costing $50 million to build, will be able to go over four miles underwater. With the added distance Alvin can explore 99% of the ocean floor compared to the paltry 62% of the deep scientists have previously been able to reach by submarine.

Alvin 2.0 has also been pimped out with more windows, a larger cabin, higher top speeds, and new batteries that will allow the sub to operate for up to eight hours instead of six. Submarine construction is difficult, because diving four miles deep subjects subs to nearly five tons of pressure per square inch. To survive the pressure, the wall of the “personnel sphere” on the new Alvin will be three inches thick, which is an inch thicker than the wall on the old model. I guess when it comes to submarines, size really does matter!


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One comment

  1. What is it that they are looking for so far below the surface? Is Atlantis one of the possibilities?

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