Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Ocean Exploration By Robot

Remote-Controlled Robots Explore 'Lost City'


Think of it as the Mars Rover but at the bottom of the ocean, remotely exploring our own planet's most alien landscape for scientists back at mission control.

"This is how the science is going to be done," said Deborah Kelley, a University of Washington oceanographer.

What once required dangerous and time-limited manned exploits can now be done by remote control on a ship deck or in an office thousands of miles away.

"Bottom time is critical ... and we can now work 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard, best known for discovering the wreck of the Titanic.
"Our oceans are 95 percent unexplored," said Ballard, speaking by a satellite video link-up from the NOAA vessel Ronald H. Brown. The celebrity scientist tossed out some other figures -- 72 percent of the planet is under water and so is 51 percent of the United States -- to make the point that there is a lot left to explore.

Remote-Controlled Robots Explore 'Lost City'


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