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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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A long day’s dive made for a dramatic nighttime recovery. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Alvin completes incline test, paving the way for open ocean dives. How simulated dives debug Alvin’s software before actual dives take place.

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Alvin’s first post-overhaul dive. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Alvin finishes in-water tests of electrical and mechanical systems and dives briefly to test the variable ballast system.

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