To the Depth

  

The Museum of the World Ocean invites you to the new exposition “Depth” located in the museum depository building and outside.  Here you can see the collections of barometers, current meters, hydrophysic probes, underwater cameras, optical tools, etc. But the main exhibits are the submersible manned vehicle “Mir-1” and one of the biggest sperm-whale skeletons in the world.  It order to put the legendary vehicle in the building it was necessary to lay special durable industrial flooring. Moreover, a special 4 x 4-meter doorway was made since sometimes “Mir” will have to leave the museum and make breathtaking descents.

The expositions answers many questions: how to measure depth, what vehicles are needed to dive at great depth, whether the life exists at maximum depth, etc.

Visitors can also watch fascinating videos devoted to exploration of the oceanic depth. 

Moreover, visitors can climb into a descent module (space capsule), “Tethys” submersible, and pressure chamber. Interesting facts about the “Mir” submersibles “Mir” is a self-propelled deep submergence vehicle. The project was initially developed by the USSR Academy of Sciences (now the Russian Academy of Sciences) along with Design Bureau "Lazurith". Later two vehicles were ordered from Finland. The “Mir-1” and “Mir-2”, delivered in 1987, were designed and built by the Finnish company “Rauma-Repola's Oceanics” subsidiary. The project was carried out under the supervision of constructors and engineers of the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. The “Mir” submersibles can dive to a maximum depth of 6,000 metres. The carrier and command centre of both “Mir” submersibles is the R/V “Akademik Mstislav Keldysh”. The two “Mir” units are operated by the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1987-2005, 35 expeditions in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean were made with the “Mir” submersibles, nine of them were devoted to consequence management of the atomic submarines “Komsomolets” and “Kursk” wrecks. 

In the mid 1990s and early 2000s, the “Mir” vehicles were used by Canadian film director James Cameron to film the wreck of the RMS “Titanic”, resting at a depth of 3,821 meters, for his 1997 film “Titanic” and documentaries such as “Ghosts of the Abyss”, and to film the wreck of the “Bismarck”, resting at a depth of 4,700 meters, for his 2002 documentary film “Expedition: Bismarck”.

On December, 24 2003 Anatoliy Sagalevich, Director of the Russian Deepwater submersibles Laboratory, was awarded an “Underwater Oscar” by the American Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences at the scientific council of P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.

On August, 2007 the “Mir” submersibles performed the first manned descent to the seabed under the Geographic North Pole to a depth of 4 300 meters. On the seabed “Mir-1” planted a one meter tall rustproof flag of Russia and left a time capsule containing a message for future generations. The submersibles experienced pressure of 430 atmospheres that was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.

In August-September, the submersibles “Mir-1” and “Mir-2” made 60 dives in various points of Baikal. In 2009, 100 submersions were made. 

In 2011, the submersibles “Mir-1” and “Mir-2” explored Lake Geneva, one of the largest European lakes.

General characteristics

Test depth 6 000 m

Energy supply 100 kW/h

Life support supply 246 operator hours

Maximum speed 5 kn

Buoyancy reserve (on surface) 290 kg

Displacement 18.6 t

Length 7.8 m

Beam (with side motors) 3.8 m

Height 3 m

Complement 3 persons

 

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