Field Reports & Away Teams

Alan Stern's Titanic Away Team Journal 18 July 2022

By Keith Cowing
Alan Stern
July 18, 2022
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Alan Stern's Titanic Away Team Journal 18 July 2022
The RMS Titanic rests at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean (NOAA/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island)

At the urging of Keith Cowing I’ve been reflecting on the Titanic dive I’ll be making this week with OceanGate Expeditions and I’ll be sharing some of those reflections with you here. Feel free to share! these posts.

The first reflection I want to write about is the connection I feel between my involvement in this deep ocean exploration and the coming exploration of Ocean world Europa by NASA”s Europa Clipper Science Team, of which I am also a part.

Europa, one of Jupiter’s largest moons, is a planet sized world with a water ocean under its ice. #NASA #EuropaClipper will explore it in the 2030s after a launch in late 2024.

Europa is one of many worlds in our solar system known or strongly suspected to harbor watery subterranean oceans, including Enceladus, Titan, Pluto, and Triton.

When I was growing up in the early 70s, it was truly unthinkable that someday the wreck of the Titanic would not just be found,but then explored by robots and then by humans. And it wasn’t even a thing to imagine that I would ever be able go there to explore it myself.

Today it’s almost unthinkable that the other ocean worlds of our solar system, like Europa, will someday be explored by robots and then humans diving deep into their waters.

But the more I think about my own ability to take part in the exploration of the RMS #Titanic, the more I think that humans exploring the oceans of Europa, Pluto, Triton, Enceladus, and elsewhere isn’t so far fetched. I only hope that era is closer in time than we imagine!
Here’s to exploration! And here’s to our our species, the only one on this good planet Earth which is compelled to explore!

Astrobiology,

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.