CONFERENCE IN THE UK
here to see more
Talks & Presentations
here to see if there is a deep shipwreck talk near
story of the greatest gold salvage from a sunken vessel
| Exploration | Team
Online Article | Expedition
Images | Wreck Images
Titanic Science | Model
Art |Imaging Titanic | NOAA
| Explore Titanic |
Diary | Harland
& Wolf Today | Historic
Images | Titanic Home
Akadenik Mistislav Keldysh
Specification | Keldysh
|The Akadenik Mistislav Keldysh is name today synonymous with
that of the Titanic, the largest scientific marine research
vessel in the world, owned and operated by the Institute of
Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Since 1981 Keldysh
has operated across the oceans of the world although it would
not be until 1991 that the vessel would begin operations at
the site of Titanic. At the heart of the ship are the MIR submersibles
their successful operation and what they have to achieve scientifically
on the seabed. The largest workspaces on the ship are dedicated
to supporting the two MIR deep diving submersibles which were
introduced to the vessel in 1987. Specialized launch-and-recovery
| are used to lift the Mir's in and out of the
water. Small boats tow them away from the ship and brave divers
jump into the water, no matter how frigid, to release the tow
lines. The MIR's are two of only five submersibles in the world
capable of operating at depths of over 3500m and both MIR1 &
MIR 2 can be launched during the same operation from the mother
ship Keldysh. On many occasion both submersibles have worked
together most notable of course for
Left; Captain Craig Mclean inside
one of 17 labs aboard the mother ship.
|lighting on such film projects as Titanic, Bismarck and I-52.
To support submersibles and instrumentation, the ship has 15
winches, 4 cranes and an A-Frame on the very stern. Aboard the
ship, large “hangar” doors cover the Mir's to protect
them from the elements when traveling the worlds oceans.
Center; The stern deck of Keldysh and her huge a
frame, made famous during
the final scene of Jim Cameron's 1998 movie Titanic
Right; A hanger cover is removed
before MIR 1 is launched.
|The vessel can berth up to 47 scientific personnel, 53 officers
and crew, and 25 marine technicians. The working space for research
includes 17 laboratories. Rocks and biological samples can be
examined in the wet lab whilst others contain sophisticated
computers and other electronic equipment.The scientists and
ship personnel on board are split into “watches”
so that a crew of people is always working, collecting data
and managing the ship, 24 hours a day. Often is the case that
a large deepwater net is towed from the ship and everything
caught is examined for scientific value. Whilst Titanic and
Bismarck have seen scientific expeditions they have also been
a source of income for DR Anatoly Sagalevitch head of the MIR
program. These expeditions have aided valued work on deep ocean
hydrothermal vent sites as well as other scientific explorations
and projects. The discovery of hydrothermal springs, such as
those in the Rainbow vent field at a depth of 2,300 metres near
the Azores, also led to the discovery of a host of new species.
A catch net is brought back
aboard the ship from the stern
|The Keldysh measures 122 m in length and 17.8
m of beam (width). It displaces 6,240 tons of water. Normal
cruising speed for the vessel is 10.5 knots, with a maximum
speed of 12.5 knots. The ship has a cruising range of 20,000
nautical miles and is propelled by four 1,460-hp diesel engines.
It is equipped with sophisticated satellite navigation and communication
equipment. Today the scientific collection of species still
continues to be managed and expanded, though in Russia’s
present economic climate, the number of major research voyages
has been reduced to a minimum. After half a century, the IORAS
deep-sea collection has
Left; On the
bridge of Keldysh and the navigation instrumentation room.
| attained worldwide recognition, but currently
faces particular difficulties since the Academy of Sciences
has more or less ceased to support it. Keldysh first became
a famous vessel after Jim Cameron used the platform for the
motion picture Titanic DR Anatoly Sagalevitch and several crew
where cast as themselves simply because they were 'the real
deal'. Since then the ship has been used on many an expedition
for Cameron's film projects including the return to Titanic
'Ghosts of the Abyss'.
Center; The bow fo'c'sle once converted to a helicopter
landing pad for the 1998 film Titanic.
Right; MIR deep submersible on the deck of Keldysh.
Left; Keldysh at St Johns Newfoundland
with her MIR hangers down and cranes out.
Center; Some of the most important personnel aboard
Keldysh are the MIR launch crew.
Right; Concentration sets in as the surface team
track the position of the MIR's miles below the surface.
Left; Those Russians can play volleyball
Center; Explorers of Titanic in the conference room
Right; Gateway to the Keldysh
While Akadenik Mistislav Keldysh remains as
legendary status in the industry her Russian crew continue
their science each year leaving from her home port of Kaliningrad
for another season of exploration. More images of the Keldysh
her crew and submersibles can be located in the 2003 expedition
pages by clicking
Leigh Bishop 2004