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Alvin lowered into the water off Atlantis, swimmers on top

On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, human occupied vehicle Alvin submerged for the first time since returning to port for repairs in the fall.  This was a tethered wet test, an opportunity to make sure the sub is ready for diving at sea. “We go through all the systems and make sure they are working,” said…

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Alvin on a crane being loaded onto R/V Atlantis

Human Occupied Vehicle Alvin is getting ready to set sail on R/V Atlantis in July to resume work to certify the sub’s new maximum dive rating of 6,500 meters (4 miles). Watch the livestream of the vehicle loading here. We’ll keep you updated as the trip unfolds with regular blog posts and pictures.

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It may seem uninteresting, but this is what most of the surface of the planet looks like. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Even after nearly 30 years, the view out the sub’s porthole never gets old for chief Alvin pilot Bruce Strickrott. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) A moment…

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After completing its 5,075th dive to a record 5338 meters (17,513 feet), post-dive visual inspection of Alvin revealed unexpected damage to several attachment points of the specialized syntactic foam used to provide buoyancy to the 43,000-pound human-occupied research submersible. As a result, further test dives have been postponed so that the sub can be thoroughly…

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From left to right, NAVSEA observer Mike Yankaskas, Alvin pilot Mike Skowronski, and Alvin Operations Coordinator Anthony Tarantino ride the sub out on the ship’s A-fram and into the water to begin Dive 5074. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Free of the ship, Alvin’s pilot still has a lot to do to…

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Rough weather at the start of our transit to Mona Canyon made for a bumpy ride, but beautiful sunsets. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution))

New Alvin divers get an introduction to the sub before the final series of dives on sea trials. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)) The Alvin team really gets into their work. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)) Rough weather at the start of our transit to Mona Canyon made for…

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After a successful five to 1,500 meters, Alvin begins a transit south to continue test dives closer to Puerto Rico.

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John Dymek and Rose Wall load a predetermined number of dive weights onto Alvin—something that can only be done once the sub is partly rolled out of its hangar. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) New Chief Engineer Sean Holmes watches the procedure for putting Alvin in the water from the ship’s Dog…

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