Inside submersible that vanished on Titanic expedition

Inside Titan, the submersible that vanished on expedition to the Titanic wreckage: Cramped 22ft-long metal cylinder with room for four people and a pilot who steers using a reinforced PLAYSTATION controller – and communicates with the mothership by TEXT

  • A team of engineers at NASA were consulted during the development 
  • OceanGate says the window in the vessel is the largest viewport to exist
  • READ MORE: Rescue mission launched for Titanic submarine with five people aboard after it went missing 12,500ft below Atlantic Ocean
  • LIVE: Titanic tourist submarine missing – Oceangate vessel disappears on Atlantic Ocean expedition 

The missing submersible that vanished with five people on board is controlled by a PlayStation controller and has one window for explorers to peer out of.

Authorities are currently searching for OceanGate’s 22ft carbon fiber and titanium vessel called the Titan after it vanished on Sunday, while taking a trip to view the Titanic wreckage

This is based on the Coast Guard’s estimation that those on board have 72 hours of oxygen left on board – with the carrier having a ‘life support’ of 96 hours.

Titan went missing off the North American coast in the Atlantic and is believed to have one crew member and four other passengers on board.

The Boston Coastguard and Canadian Coastguard are both now looking for the missing vessel that is operated by tour company OceanGate Expeditions. 

Authorities are currently searching for OceanGate’s 22ft carbon fibre and titanium vessel called the Titan after it vanished on Sunday


The vessel is controlled by a reinforced Playstation controller, though it doesn’t have a GPS system and is guided by text messages sent by a team above water. 

According to the website, Titan communicates with the topside comms and tracking team via text messages which are exchanged via a USBL (ultra-short baseline) acoustic system. 

Dimensions for the vessel are 670 cm x 280 cm x 250 cm, and it is able to descend to depths of 4,000 meters. 

The Titan was built and designed with an aerospace-grade carbon fiber hull mated with titanium end caps and a dome.

A team of engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center consulted with OceanGate’s engineers during the development of the submersible.

Late in April, the company highlighted that it had moved Titan for final preparations for the 2023 Titanic Expedition.

Dives can last up to 10 hours each, with participants spending a total of 10 days at sea onboard a larger ship.

In an interview last year, the company’s CEO Stockton Rush told CBC that their subs had capacity for five people and can go to the depths of the Titanic – which is half the depth of the ocean.

He said: ‘There’s no switches and things to bump into, we have one button to turn it on.

‘Everything else is done with touch screens and computers, and so you really become part of the vehicle and everybody gets to know everyone pretty well.’

The 2023 expeditions are only the third the company has carried out in the Titan, with the sub making ten dives to the wreckage in 2022 over several weeks.

It is unclear exactly how many have been completed in total by the Titan, but it is understood that this trip is not the first this year.

Developing story – please check back for updates.  

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