Life at the Extremes

Mission Logs

Expedition Coverage Begins July 23rd

From July 23 through August 1, 2005, the Immersion Presents team will post updates live from the R/V Ron Brown. Bookmark this website, and remember to join us for our next adventure.

We're underway

The NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown left Woods Hole, Massachusetts in the evening on July 17. We're on our way to the Lost City hydrothermal field. We'll be posting detailed updates starting on July 23rd. In the meantime, check out the latest photos.

Almost there

We've been at sea for over five days, but somehow it doesn't seem that long. Everyone aboard has been incredibly busy getting ready for tomorrow, our first day on site. The scientists have assembled their instruments and sampling gear. The ROV team has been preparing the vehicles. All of the equipment in the control van has been set up and tested. Meanwhile, the production team has been setting up and practicing for the live broadcasts.

We have arrived!

When we woke up this morning, it was clear that something had changed. The ship was no longer moving! After nearly six days at sea, we had arrived at our first exploration site. We'll be sending updates later in the day. In the meantime, as we make final preparations for our first dive, you can tune in live.

First dive

The team was able to launch the ROVs around midnight last night. This morning they are exploring the first dive site and collecting rock samples. Look for some incredible underwater pictures today.

First dive complete; On to Lost City

This evening, we finished the first dive with the ROVs. The vehicles were brought back to the surface and lifted back up on deck.

Between dives

The ROVs came back to the surface this morning after their first dive at Lost City. The science team was very excited to retrieve the samples that Hercules had collected. Today the team is busy getting ready for the next dive. Meanwhile we are continuing our broadcasts back to Immersion Presents sites across the U.S.

Another day, another dive

Hercules and Argus were deployed yesterday evening for another dive at Lost City. During the night, the teams on the ship and at the University of Washington could be heard talking on their intercom while amazing images glowed on the monitors. This morning, the ROVs returned to the surface so that the scientists could gather their samples. We're hoping to get the vehicles back in the water within a few hours today.

Working together

This is the first time that the chief scientist of an oceanographic expedition is leading the mission from shore, using technology to see what the team on the ship is seeing. Dr. Deborah Kelley is at the Science Control Center at the University of Washington (UW). From there, she and her team can see all of the video coming from the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) cameras. They can tell the team on the ship where to drive the ROVs and which rock samples to collect. The two teams are constantly communicating using our satellite and Internet 2 link.

Amazing underwater views

The ROVs are back in the water this afternoon after a quick recovery to retrieve samples this morning. As we get ready for the next broadcast, we are seeing amazing live video of the underwater structures at Lost City. Some photos from earlier dives are now available online. We'll share more underwater images in the next few days.

Has anyone seen the elevator?

The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules can carry boxes to hold the samples it collects. But sometimes it's not convenient to bring a sample up with the ROV. That's where the elevators come in. An elevator is a special platform designed to carry samples up from the seafloor so they can be retrieved by the team on the ship. The elevators can be used to bring up samples while the ROVs keep working underwater.

Last dive completed

At about nine o'clock (ship's time), the ROVs finished the last dive of this mission to Lost City. Now we are on our way to port in the Azores, a group of Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Immersion Presents team, and most of the scientists will be getting off there, and heading for home. Most of the ROV group will be staying on for another cruise where they will help a new group of scientists study deep sea corals on seamounts.

JASON Learning: A Partnership of Sea Research Foundation and National Geographic