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Life on board a British nuclear submarine

"One evening, I wander into the control room at about midnight. The watch officer and sonar operators are discussing an important philosophical question: would it be more painful to be struck by a whole tuna or a tin of tuna? This is never resolved. These epistemological issues can be sustained over weeks." Guardian journalist Stephen Moss spends a week aboard HMS Triumph, a nuclear-powered Royal Navy fast-attack submarine, and picks up some slang while he's there. Photographer Gary Calton was also there to document life aboard the boat.
posted by EndsOfInvention on Aug 22, 2012 - 20 comments

Declassified Photos Reveal CIA’s Deep Sea Rescue of a Spy Satellite

"Only July 10, 1971, America's newest photo reconnaissance satellite, the KH-9 Hexagon, dropped a capsule loaded with film towards the Earth. The reentry vehicle was supposed to open its parachute; an American aircraft would snatch it out of the sky in mid-descent. But the chute was never unfurled. The reentry vehicle hit the Pacific Ocean with a force of approximately 2600 Gs. And then it sunk down into the deep, before settling at 16,000 feet."
posted by brundlefly on Aug 9, 2012 - 40 comments

Not quite 20,000 leagues under the sea. Our apologies.

The BBC has produced a fabulous infographic showing the ocean zones: Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, Lower Midnight, and The Trenches. The page also includes videos showing: what happens to material at 100, 1000, and 10,000 meters down; the animals living in the Abyssal Plains (described in a lovely Scottish accent); and the story of Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh going down to the Mariana Trench in 1960. No one has been back there since, but director James Cameron and Richard Branson are among the contenders who are going to make a go of it. (Rumour has it that Cameron intends to be the sole person in the sub, while Branson is just financing a team.) Meanwhile, the Doer team (backed by Eric Schmidt of Google), says it's all about the science and not just being first in this century's race. And there's even a yellow submarine for the rest of us, if by "rest of us" one means "has $250,000 to spare for a single trip". Don't forget to click the links at the top of the infographic page to see everything.
posted by maudlin on Feb 24, 2012 - 17 comments

One giant leap for goonkind.

Some people make DIY drones. Some people build WiFi-hacking UAVs. Somethingawful members build their own submarines, floating launch-platforms, and tow their own manned spacecraft out to sea.
posted by fake on Aug 22, 2010 - 34 comments

High diving

Homemade submarines up the drug smuggling ante - CNN recaps a Vice story from 2009 where reporters toured a narco-sub seizure facility in Colombia [full video - 27:48]. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Jun 30, 2010 - 18 comments

Journey to the Bottom of the (Cold War) Sea and Back

Submarine causalities are tragedies of war that are not always directly associated with combat. Systems failures at sea are often mysterious, with evidence and remains disappearing to all but the deepest diving vehicles. This was no different in the Cold War, with non-combat losses from the US and the Soviet Fleets. In that era of nuclear secrets, both those of nuclear-powered submarines and nuclear weapons, learning about the enemy's technology was paramount. Such an opportunity came to the US with the sinking of K-129, a Golf Class II Soviet submarine that went down with 98 men on board. The recovery took over six year, involved the possible payback of Howard Hughes, a videotaped formal sea burial that was eventually copied and given to then-President Boris Yeltsin, and decades of CIA secrecy. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 27, 2010 - 41 comments

Damn the torpedoes...

Sunk by their own torpedo? Apparently a few U-boats or subs may have been lost due to a "circular run" of their own swim bomb.
posted by Brian B. on May 7, 2007 - 36 comments

The Real North Pole Expedition

The Real North Pole Expedition is a journey to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, to the actual North Pole, using research submarines, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2008. Spots are still available. And if that doesn’t interest you, they have other expeditions that might.
posted by jason's_planet on Oct 21, 2006 - 10 comments

I want to be/under the sea . . .

“If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.” Buying a megayacht is soooo 1998. Today’s hip gazillionaire knows that the future of disgustingly conspicuous consumption lies beneath the waves. Advances in technology (and corresponding concentrations of wealth) have made the personal submarine a reality for the super-rich. And what about the rest of us, who do have to ask how much it costs? For us, the plebeian majority, there’s a website devoted to rolling your own.
posted by jason's_planet on Jul 17, 2006 - 36 comments

Peril in the deep

Adrift 500 Feet Down, a Minute Was an Eternity. A chain of error brings the U.S. Navy close to its own Kursk tragedy.
posted by stonerose on May 17, 2005 - 21 comments

John P. Holland and his Submarines

Explore the work of the father of the modern submarine. John P. Holland, an Irish-American born in 1841, designed and built many early submarines including the first in the U.S. Navy. The Irish Fenian Brotherhood’s Skirmishing Fund financed his early work, including the Fenian Ram, the imagined scourge of the British Navy. They eventually stole it from him but were confounded by its controls. Instead it was displayed in Madison Square Garden to raise funds for victims of the 1916 Irish Uprising.
Geocities: tread lightly.
Site uses frames, use the first link.
posted by putzface_dickman on Sep 2, 2003 - 3 comments

what has changed?

Doing some research on the submarine Thresher,I found a song written by Phil Ochs about the tragedy. I don't think it hit the charts like Gordon Lightfoots' song regarding the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It then occurred to me that there probably will not be a song about the space shuttle Columbia. Why not?
posted by JohnR on Feb 12, 2003 - 17 comments

At age 15, it didnt occur to Karl Stanley that there was any reason he couldn't build his own personal submarine -- so he transformed a ten-foot steel pipe into one of the most innovative subs in the world. You too can build your own submarine out of an empty propone tank. Or from an industrial buoy. Or this one for $400. Or this one in the garage. More DIY submarine ideas and discussions at psubs.org
posted by stbalbach on Oct 28, 2002 - 18 comments

In 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne predicted that submarines would go to the South Pole and be nuclear powered. Leonardo da Vinci, the Florentine Renaissance inventor and artist, developed plans for an underwater warship but kept them secret. He was afraid that it would make war even more frightful than it already was. Get the facts about submarines. Check out the submarine timeline. What's the future for submarines? I want one.
posted by ashbury on Jul 2, 2002 - 18 comments

The Confederate Submarine HL Hunley

The Confederate Submarine HL Hunley and some background on the controversy surrounding its discovery. Turns out it was not discovered in 1995 as originally thought, but in 1970 by Dr. Lee Spence.
posted by ebarker on Oct 16, 2001 - 2 comments

the kursk is raised

the kursk is raised

and expected to reach murmansk by wednesday. then analysis can begin on the exact cause of her sinking. once again the dutch prove that if it has to do with water, they're the best in the world at handling it.
posted by bwg on Oct 15, 2001 - 5 comments

Remember the Kursk?

Remember the Kursk? It was discussed in length here last year. Now the Russians are going to haul it up, because they don't want US salvage divers to see what their best technology looks like. But the people involved in the rescue attempt last year charge that the haste is risky, and could lead to serious consequences if those reactors were to rupture.
posted by Ezrael on Jul 17, 2001 - 15 comments

Sub Surprize - The Sequel.

Sub Surprize - The Sequel.
Within two months of sinking a Japanese ship (and 24 hours of a recon plane landing in China) the US Navy have angered the Japanese yet again when the nuclear submarine Chicago showed up at a Japanese port without any prior notice.

Let's make a thread to track all the recent American military mishaps.
posted by tamim on Apr 3, 2001 - 4 comments


So this is what the Japanese think of us.

So this is what the Japanese think of us. We already know what the Russians think. After the sub incident, they don't seem to like the US too much over in Japan, either.
posted by andrewraff on Feb 25, 2001 - 20 comments

U.S. to ban civilians at controls of military vehicles

U.S. to ban civilians at controls of military vehicles Sec Rumsford has announced a "temporary" ban of civilians at the controls of military machinery, including of course, subamarines. Temporarily?
posted by Postroad on Feb 22, 2001 - 5 comments

A submarine

A submarine of the US Pacific Fleet has surfaced under the Ehime Maru, a 191-foot boat used for Japanese fishery training, just off Honolulu, sinking the boat and apparently killing some high school students and teachers who were onboard. Not long ago, on August 12, an American sub was blamed for crashing into and sinking a Russian sub in the Barents Sea. It's not unusual for subs to hit subs.
posted by pracowity on Feb 10, 2001 - 8 comments

People that can build a submarine on a mountain

People that can build a submarine on a mountain impress me. This story was also on NPR.
posted by gluechunk on Sep 8, 2000 - 3 comments

Was the Kursk submarine sunk by NATO submarines?

Was the Kursk submarine sunk by NATO submarines? Was it a collision that triggered the torpedo to explode?
posted by kristin on Sep 6, 2000 - 15 comments

Remember that cassette drive on your TRS-80?

Remember that cassette drive on your TRS-80? Well, now, *submarines* can make use of that advanced technology, too...
posted by baylink on Jun 12, 2000 - 15 comments

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