Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Trieste

The Trieste, a deep-diving  research bathyscaphe was first launched near Naples, Italy in 1953 by Auguste Piccard, the Swiss scientist who designed the Trieste. However, after a few years of researching the Mediterranean, the United States Navy purchased the Trieste and transported it to San Diego, California.


On January 23, 1960 the Trieste made its famous dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The bathyscaphe had 9 tons of iron shot for weights to assist it to descend to the deepest point on the seafloor. Also, Trieste's air tanks were flooded with seawater to help make it sink faster. It descended 3 feet per second until it reached a depth of 27,000 feet, when the operators slowed the descent to half that rate.

The Trieste

The descent took about 4 hours and 48 minutes to reach the bottom, however, Trieste only stayed at the bottom for 20 minutes. At that depth, the pressure greater than 16,883 pounds per square inch put an immense amount of stress on the Trieste, cracking and outer plexiglass window. Thankfully though, no complications occurred after that.

Releasing 2 tons of iron shot, Piccard and Walsh, the people aboard Trieste, began their ascent that took 3 hours and 17 minutes.

 Interior of the Trieste Piccard and Walsh

Entering world record books, Trieste was the first and only vessel to enter the Mariana Trench in history. In 1963, Trieste was used to find Thresher, a sunken submarine and then was placed in the Navy Museum in Washington DC.

Trieste in Navy Museum

- Victoria Mehlhaff -

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