The US Coast Guard announced on Thursday that the five crew members aboard the Titan Five submersible have died in a “catastrophic implosion” that destroyed the vessel deep in the North Atlantic Ocean. An implosion is when an object is squeezed from the outside, causing it to collapse inward. In the case of the submersible, it likely contracted and collapsed due to the immense pressure from the ocean.
This is different from an explosion, which is a burst that originates from within the object, causing it to break apart. If the submersible had exploded, it would have been torn into several pieces by a force from within. As the submersible went deeper into the ocean, the pressure from the seawater increased significantly, potentially causing it to crumple under the immense weight.
The Titan submersible is a specialized underwater vehicle that can carry five people, including a pilot, and dive to depths of 4,000 meters. It is used for tasks such as deep-sea surveys and research. The submersible is made of carbon fiber and titanium, which make it lighter and more cost-efficient than other deep-diving vehicles. It is equipped with electric thrusters and can travel at a maximum speed of 3 knots (around 5.5 kilometers per hour) underwater. It has enough oxygen to support the crew for up to 96 hours.
The submersible also has a monitoring system that assesses the integrity of the hull during each dive for safety. Despite the combined efforts of the US, Canadian, and French maritime authorities, the location of the submersible remains unknown, and it is too early to determine when it will be found.