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James Cameron and Eric Schmidt's SOI Grieve Loss of Nereus ROV 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Wealthy guys love extreme submarines, observed Billionaire in 2012. And the Washington Post reported that deep sea exploration is getting to be a rich man's game in 2013. The NY Times also covered the privatization of American science earlier this year. So, it's not too surprising to see the [Google Chair Eric] Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) post filmmaker James Cameron's eulogy-of-sorts for the loss of the Nereus ROV, the hybrid remotely operated vehicle that's believed to have imploded under 16,000 PSI of pressure at a depth of 9,990 meters as it explored the Kermadec Trench. 'I feel like I've lost a friend,' wrote Cameron. 'I always dreamed of making a joint dive with Nereus and [Cameron's] Deepsea Challenger at hadal depth.' Also feeling Cameron's pain is SOI, which used the Nereus to explore the Mid-Cayman Rise in 2013 and had plans to use the $6 million HROV again to explore the Mariana Trench in two missions later this year. SOI is currently working with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to build the world's most advanced deep-diving robotic vehicle for use on SOI's ship R/V Falkor, which Wendy Schmidt indicated provides ship time that enables researchers to tap into available funding."
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James Cameron and Eric Schmidt's SOI Grieve Loss of Nereus ROV

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  • 6.21 miles deep, that's impressive.

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      Look at what Jim Cameron's brother Mike does for a living. Extreme stuff like that is in the family's blood.

      • Re:WOW (Score:4, Funny)

        by Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:11AM (#47036239)

        "Mike Cameron, brother to James, is a super-smart aerospace engineer. He came up with a way to film at 12,600 feet underwater, and JPL wants to use the technology to explore one of the moons of Jupiter."

        Oh great, haven't they read the memo about attempting no landings there? Now those aliens are going to get all monolith on our asses.

    • Yes, it was so impressed, it imploded!

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday May 18, 2014 @11:24PM (#47035591)
    Why does this posting reek of a PR person's assignment? Has /. sunk that low?
  • by hey! (33014) on Sunday May 18, 2014 @11:32PM (#47035623) Homepage Journal

    Then the initials would have been "S.O.L."

    • One rule of thumb I remember from way back... an institute founded by an individual and named after himself usually means it mainly generates pseudoscience.

      Also, was anyone else disappointed that Mr. Cameron wasn't on that sub when it imploded?

      • Also, was anyone else disappointed that Mr. Cameron wasn't on that sub when it imploded?

        What grievous offence has he committed upon your person that you'd wish him a horrendous death and his body likely never recovered? I quite liked Aliens myself.

  • by NixieBunny (859050) on Sunday May 18, 2014 @11:53PM (#47035693) Homepage
    Underwater robotics is all about advancing the state of the art. A machine that lived six years was reaching obsolescence. I'm sure that the boys in the back room will have fun building its successor. (I have helped to build a few underwater robots for competitions, and it's always a joy to start work on the next one.)
    • Sure, for developers it's fun and exciting to build a new vessel with the latest and greatest technology. For a scientist, it's great to have access to a vessel at all. Maybe it won't have stuff developed in the last 8 years or so, but even being able to up to 8km down safely and having a plethora of sensors and fishing equipment available is more than most deep see researchers will get access to in the next five years, probably more. Obsolescence? Not by far, people would be queueing up to use it for the n
    • Underwater robotics is all about advancing the state of the art. A machine that lived six years was reaching obsolescence.

      In the eyes of folks who build underwater robots, that may be true. For folks who use underwater robots to accomplish a task, it's all about accomplishing that task. State of the art, obsolescent, obsolete, they simply don't care so long as it works and accomplishes what they ask of it.

      I'm sure that the boys in the back room will have fun building its successor.

      I'm sure the

    • Underwater robotics is all about advancing the state of the art.

      That may be true but the primary aim here is marine research, better robotics is a secondary consideration and besides we already know a 10 km high water column can turn a sub into a cigarette box in the blink of an eye, and it only takes a microscopic imperfection in the hull to trigger such an event.

      When we are talking about very expensive research tools "Obsolete" does not mean useless, we are talking about a sub that can (almost) reach 10km down. I can only think of two other subs that have reached t

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 18, 2014 @11:56PM (#47035707)

    “For better or worse,” said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.”

    Coz, like, science has never relied on rich benefactors before. Hint: Before government-funded science it was rich benefactors that provided residence, food and money for artisans and scientists.

    • Some one give the AC a mod point for the headline.

      History is is the fastest way to understanding Science (with a capital 'S') and one of the best "executive summaries" I've read (and watched) is The ascent of man [youtube.com].

      Most of the pre-1900 polymaths that gave us the enlightenment were either nobility or one social step down from it. The simple fact of the matter is that they were the only people who could afford the "leisure time" to purse their intellectual curiosity. It was not unusual for these people to
    • âoeFor better or worse,â said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, âoethe practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.â

      Coz, like, science has never relied on rich benefactors before. Hint: Before government-funded science it was rich benefactors that provided residence, food and mone

  • by cj51 (921458)
    it is a waste of good equipment since MH370 was probably landed at Diego Garcia
  • 6 million to a billionaire is like me losing a $50 Toy RC Helicopter. Only I don't whine about it as much, or milk it for all the PR I can get.

  • I'm glad the summary defined SOI as I wasn't sure how Eric Schmidt was related to Silicon On Insulator [wikipedia.org] technology other than the chips Google's servers run on employ the tech.
    • Fourth sentence in TFS clearly explains it. "So, it's not too surprising to see the [Google Chair Eric] Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) postÂ...."
      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Isn't it great when you immortalize your stupidity(lack of reading comprehension) on the internet?
  • Wealthy guys love extreme submarines

    ...because jets are so 20th century, no-one will take you seriously.

  • by fantomas (94850) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:09AM (#47036745)

    Isn't $6 million small change for Schmidt and Cameron? couldn't they just check out the loose change down the back of the armchair/ in their car's ashtray and pay for a new (and better one)? I am sure several US universities would be more than happy to have one of these folks offer to buy a new submarine for them on the agreement that said donor gets a certain amount of access to it.

    Surely this is small change for these folks (and they are canny enough to work out how to make money out of the donation, e.g. by making a film about it).

    • I think he has worked out a way to make money on it. Step one is to drum up interest by talking about the one that was lost....

    • More importantly, they learned valuable information on what will cause a ROV to finally implode. Similar to Edison being quoted as finding out 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.

  • by jratcliffe (208809) on Monday May 19, 2014 @10:23AM (#47037999)

    Only a lunatic would risk violating the Benthic Treaty. Giving Blue Hades a casus belli would be a really, REALLY bad idea.

  • Riiiiiiiiiight.. "implosion". More like someone was poking around into territories - specifically outlined as forbidden - in the 1953 Benthic Treaty of Azores with BLUE HADES and got their expensive little toy slapped.

    Try and not get us wiped out there Cameron.. thanks.

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