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Search operations are still ongoing to find the missing Titanic tour submersible operated by a $30 ‘video game controller’

Update as of June 23, 2023: Titanic sub destroyed in ‘catastrophic implosion,’ all five aboard dead.

The wide search and rescue operations to look for the Titanic tourist submersible which has been reported missing since June 18, Sunday, in the Atlantic Ocean are still underway. Authorities explored the North Atlantic for the missing sub with five people aboard after an initial expedition of the Titanic shipwreck. In addition, it was recently revealed that the missing 23,000-pound vessel is being operated by a ‘video game controller’ from the early 2000s.

According to the latest update, the US Navy spokesperson released a statement about the ongoing rescue mission as the military branch is sending subject matter experts and a “Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System” with vessels from the US, Canada, and France — all working together to rescue the tourist sub with five confirmed passengers. The Ocean Gate’s CEO Stockton Rush, British businessman Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawoon with his 19-year-old son Suleman, and the French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, were the five people identified as missing. Based on the US Coast Guard estimates, the Titan has roughly 30 hours’ worth of oxygen remaining on board.

Titanic tourist submersible
via OceanGate Expeditions

OceanGate, the submersible’s operator, said that Titan weighs about 23,000Ibs or 10, 432 kg with an aerospace-standard-five-inch carbon fiber with two domed titanium end caps. It can reach depths of up to 4,000m (13,123ft) below sea level, far more than the deepest diving US submarine known as the USS Dolphin, which once reached 900 m below sea level.

The surprising thing is that the vanish sub is being controlled by a device that appeared to be a Logitech gamepad controller prominent in the 2000s which is compatible with systems in the 1990s. Although the use of video game controllers is already common to navigate craft systems like military drone pilots, it is unusual to use a cheap PC controller that you can avail on Amazon for $30 (refurbished version).

At this point, there is no way to know if the controller is responsible for the problems encountered by the submersible or not.

As of June 20, U.S. and Canadian ships and planes have been mobilized to search for the submarine, swarming the area about 900 miles (1,450 km) east of Cape Cod, some dropping sonar buoys that can monitor to a depth of 13,000 feet (3,962 meters). As of June 21, there are Coast Guard reports that a Canadian aircraft has detected sounds, as the clock ticked down to the last 24 hours of the craft’s presumed oxygen supply.


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