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Trieste descends and ascends by venting the gas and releasing these iron pellets. The bathyscaphe holds the record for the deepest dive ever—35,000 feet. However, compared with other subs Trieste has limited maneuvering capabilities: it functions solely as an elevator to the bottom, going down and coming back up. In 1963 Trieste was one of the few submersibles capable of diving deep enough to look at the Thresher’s wreckage. Using Trieste, scientists took many photographs of the wreckage of the sub.
Nuclear submarines, was capable of cruising at 1,000 feet below the surface and had a maximum depth (crush depth) of approximately 1,300 feet. Thresher was 279 feet long and 32 feet wide and usually carried a crew of 9 officers and 76 enlisted men. O 39 40 NUCLEAR SUBMARINE DISASTERS It was the height of the cold war between the United States and the USSR. The two superpowers had gone to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis just a few short months before, in October 1962. The confrontation had ended when the Soviets had eventually removed their missiles from Cuba, but they were still building nuclear submarines to compete with the United States and NATO.
Experimental vessels were powered by steam, electricity, diesel, gasoline, and chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide. Instead of wood, designers used riveted iron plate to streamline hulls. 29 With the help of modern technology, researchers raised and examined the Confederate submarine Hunley in April 2001. The vessel had been sunk during a battle in 1864, after successfully destroying the Northern warship USS Housatonic. 30 NUCLEAR SUBMARINE DISASTERS Many new submarine designs took to the water after the Civil War.