Washington-based OceanGate Expeditions has announced that it will begin a series of week-long missions to the wreck of the RMS Titanic. From May to September 2021, the company will be visiting the ship to conduct a series of research expeditions and bringing a small number of guests to enjoy the dive.
The company has built the Cyclops-class submersible, Titan, together with Boeing and NASA. The submersible has room for five people – a pilot, a scientist, and three Mission Specialists. The Mission Specialists or citizen scientists are members of the public who engage in hands-on research. These three can buy seats on board the submarine for the whopping price of $125,000. It looks like the most expensive tour in the world so far.
Mission Specialists will be trained as crewmembers and will serve hands-on roles in documenting important features of the historical site that lies 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) below the ocean’s surface. Using an array of high-resolution 4K cameras, a laser scanner, and sonar equipment, the OceanGate Expeditions team will create a fully explorable photorealistic virtual 3-D model of the shipwreck. Each of the six 10-day missions will give up to nine qualified citizen scientists a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore and experience this historic memorial site.
Each excursion will last from six to eight hours, but before that, guests will have to get to the very place of the accident – they will be offered an eight-hour sailing, the starting point of which will be the island of Newfoundland.
OceanGate Expeditions plans to launch its expeditions to the Titanic in May next year and plans to continuously investigate shipwrecks from May to September in the coming years.