RMS Titanic Dive Tour
The MIR Submersibles
Owned and Operated By The PP Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy Of Sciences, Moscow.
- The MIR submersibles were built in Finland in 1987 and are owned and operated by the PP Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. The design of the MIR submersibles was a joint project between the scientists and engineers of the PP Shirshov Institute of Oceanology and the engineers of the Finnish company Rauma Repola Oy.
- The MIR submersibles can reach a maximum depth of 6000 metres (19,680 feet), thus giving them access to up to 98% of the world's oceans. The MIR submersibles are two of only five manned submersibles in the world that can dive beyond 3,000m (9,840 feet).
- The MIR submersibles are very safe and relatively spacious; they are equipped with view ports, exterior lights and an impressive array of instruments.
- The MIR submersibles are classified with German Lloyd, a leading ship and submersible classification bureau. They are inspected and certified on an annual basis and undergo a full refit each five-years.
- The pressure sphere is constructed of special nickel steel. It is designed to withstand the enormous pressures at these ocean depths. The MIR submersibles have an overall length of 7.8 metres (25 feet) and their cabin is 2.1 metres (7 feet) in diameter, accommodating one pilot and two passengers.
- Air pressure inside the cabin remains at a constant one atmosphere: the air is recycled in a manner similar to that used on board spacecraft, with lithium hydroxide scrubbers removing accumulated carbon dioxide.
- Over 49 worldwide expeditions have been conducted with the MIR submersibles and their dedicated mothership RV Akademik Mstislav Keldysh.
- The discovery of hydrothermal vent life and chemosynthesis on our ocean floor was one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century. The MIR submersibles have visited 12 of these hydrothermal vent sites, both in the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. Three of these sites were visited for the first time ever by the MIR's.
- Other voyages completed include extensive oceanographic research and sampling expeditions and filming on the legendary RMS Titanic including such productions as IMAX Titanica, James Cameron's Hollywood blockbuster Titanic and Ghosts of the Abyss.
Several expeditions have also been mounted to the wreck of the German battleship Bismarck located in 4,850 metres (15,900 feet) in the North Atlantic.
In 1989 the MIR's undertook observations and encapsulation of the Russian nuclear submarine Komsomolets sunk in the Norwegian Sea in 1,700 metres (5,576 feet). Work was also carried out on the wreck of the Russian submarine Kursk in the Barents Sea in 2000 and the Japanese submarine I-52 located in the Atlantic Ocean.
Expeditions are made possible with the experience and expertise of the Chief of the Expedition and Chief Pilot Dr Anatoly Sagalevitch and his MIR submersible team. Assisting him is Captain Yuriy Gorbach and his Keldysh crew. The RV Keldysh and MIR teams are highly skilled professionals and together they run one of the safest underwater operations in the world.