Robot’s undersea exploration ends in catastrophe


A voyage to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean has ended with the loss of a multimillion-dollar robotic vehicle in a catastrophic implosion, just north of New Zealand.

The one-of-a-kind unmanned Nereus was in the final stages of a 10-kilometre dive into the Kermadec Trench when it crumpled under the tremendous water pressure.

Its builder and operator, the US Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, said Nereus’ mission was to undertake high-risk, high-reward research in the deepest parts of the ocean. ”Nereus helped us explore places we’ve never seen before and ask questions we never thought to ask,” said the institute’s chief scientist Timothy Shank, who also helped to conceive the vehicle. READ MORE


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