Microbiologist at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography in Malaga Isabella Ferrera He descended 2653 meters in two different expeditions in 2006 and 2007 on the Eastern Pacific Ridge aboard Alvin submarine, the first to discover the Titanic In 1986 and The same one that director James Cameron hired To stare at the ship before filming his movie.
He said in an interview with Europe Press The scientist, when asked what resources were devoted to finding the five expedition members who went down to the Titanic on the Titan, compared it to the efforts devoted to rescuing immigrants who drowned at sea.
On Thursday, the US Coast Guard reported that the Titan submarine, which disappeared last Sunday while diving to visit the wreck of the Titanic, suffered a “catastrophic implosion” and the wreckage of the device was found.
Although she specified that she did not know who would pay the high cost of this rescue operation, the Spanish microbiologist advocates not using public resources for it: «If you put yourself there for purely and private tourism purposes, you must be responsible to pay that bill and not use the resources the public.
“If Titan’s design is compatible with the maximum depth it can go, then there should be no problem. If there is, it is because There was a design problemHe stressed that the material had fallen more meters than it could bear.
The dangers of diving in a commercial submarine
Scientific subs like the Alvin, Ferreira explained, have a “different” shape than Titan and seat three people, when the one that exploded Thursday had five people. “They made it bigger, I imagine because it was commercial, and according to what they say, It does not have a beacon positioning system“, specially.
Titan is an experimental submarine.It has not been validated by a competent authorityWhile the Alvin is a scientific submarine with “space-like technology,” the Spanish microbiologist “has never been” fearless when making her missions and descending more than 2,600 metres.
for the world, The risk of going on Titan is ‘much higher’ from going to the Alvin, because it is a private submarine that “has not been certified or approved by any competent authority” and in which travelers had to “sign a document” before diving.
Despite the tragedy this week, Ferreira maintained that he would have no problem descending the same distance as the Titanic, but not to explore the ship, although it is on the Alvin or any other science submarine rather than on a commercial submarine. “I would go down to the Mariana Trench,” he judged.
regarding what it means Risking life for science, asserted that science is “an engine that makes you cross borders” and stated that the desire for human exploration led him to reach the moon. “I think when we do that we don’t feel like we’re risking our lives, you risk your life every single day you take the car. “This is an additional motivation,” he added.
however, He was not “very in favor” of science tourismOr where millionaires risk their lives as in the case of the Titan flight, where each crew member was paid $250,000. “The end of these people is a personal issue of self, if they want to contribute to science they can also donate part of their money to research,” he said.
«James Cameron did not have enough to go down the Alvin River as a submarine was built to go down to the Mariana Islands. What it costs to dive for a famous person can still be monetized in another way. I’m not against it, but it seems to me that it opens up a discussion.”
The field is very important when designing a submarine
When designing a submarine, engineers must take this into account You must have a port of view and that “the larger the dial, the higher the crystal and the less deep”. “The fully sealed titanium ball is more robust. Engineers had to well design the size, thickness and location of the ball,” Ferreira commented.
On the Alvin River, which has made more than 5,000 dives, it goes pilot and two others, and they are usually scientists, although every three dives a pilot must go in training, so that only one scientist goes on that flight in the instrument. The pilots are usually electronics engineers, communications engineers or military submarine pilots, and in Alvin “there was a female pilot who was a scientist.”
The scientists, the microbiologist explained, followed the pilot’s instructions during the expedition, but had to know the communication system and the system for both ballast firing and emergency evacuation, which were never used on this machine.
protocol in an emergency
“If the pilot goes missing, we scientists will have to do an emergency evacuation. There are people who “have claustrophobia or fear and you don’t dare to go down,” said the expert, who noted that there are people who “have claustrophobia or fear.
The microbiologist descended more than 2,600 meters into the Pacific Ridge to study microorganisms at high temperatures, where around hydrothermal vents there is a “unique ecosystem not found elsewhere”: “What we did was Study this ecosystemIt was an interdisciplinary project with geologists, geochemists, biologists or microbiologists.”
“You have the passion, the charm, and a little bit of tension to go through an experience like this, especially the first time. it is exciting. What surprises you the most is the geological activity, you see black liquids coming out at 400 degrees with very strong pressure and You feel like you are in the bowels of the earth, You are in a rift going deep into the planet. “You feel a lot of passion and a lot of responsibility,” he said.
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