On Friday June 20th, Titanic-founder Dr. Robert Ballard's Exploration Vessel, Nautilus, will be docked at the Port of Gulfport. The E/V Nautilus team has invited local community groups on board to meet the ocean engineering teams and tour the remotely operated vehicles (R.O.V.s) Hercules and Argus. The unmanned submersible pairs are the core technology that assist in the deep sea research mission of the E/V Nautilus.
The invited groups will hear presentations from team members and have a chance to ask the R.O.V. pilots questions. The R.O.V. pilots will also conduct a hands on exercise, building miniature submersibles out of PVC pipe and testing them out dockside, assisted by the engineering teams.
The E/V Nautilus is on a four month scientific mission to explore various areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The public can watch the real-time action in high-definition streaming video and participate in live interactions with shore-based audiences via www.nautiluslive.org, a 24-hour portal bringing expeditions from the field to future explorers on shore via telepresence technology.
The arrival of the Nautilus in Gulfport kicks off a two week exploration with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative's E.C.O.G.I.G. (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil & Gas Inputs to the Gulf) project, studying the continued impact of the Deepwater Horizon's oils spills on corals and other biology in the Gulf.