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By Alvarado, Salustio

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Although the unmanned vessel reached a record depth of more than 4,500 feet (1,500 m), he had to jettison gasoline so that the support ship could lift the little vessel out of the heavy seas. Unfortunately, he then did not have enough gasoline to make a manned dive the next day, which had been the point of the expedition. The newspapers ridiculed his effort, ignoring the record depth achieved and focusing on the lack of a manned test. The negative reception helped dry up Piccard’s funding. However, the flawed test run did catch the attention of a young French navel officer named Jacques Cousteau, the charismatic, ambitious, and well-regarded coinventor of the scuba technology that allowed divers to breath from pressurized oxygen in tanks on their back instead of through hoses connected to a surface ship.

They concluded that a once mighty crustal plate had been caught in this triple collision. Geologists still work to understand the complex results, both on the surface and miles beneath. Apparently, the Farallon and the small Kulu plate were spreading apart from one another when the much larger North American plate crashed into them. The larger plate with the light rock of North America embedded on top rode up and over the two smaller plates, like a truck smashing a sports car. These two buried plates were forced down toward the semi-molten mantle, and as the temperature and pressure built up, the rock was melted to form magma, which made its way upward to the surface to form a chain of arc volcanoes that built the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest as well as the Aleutian Islands, off the coast of Alaska.

So he agreed to surrender effective control of the Trieste to the Americans. ” The scientists and engineers immediately set to work improving the Trieste for dives to below 35,000 feet (10,668 m). Soon the engineers finished the new, stronger crew chambers and expanded the “blimp” portion of the hull to hold an additional 6,000 gallons (22,700 L) of gasoline. To test the updated Trieste’s capabilities, they dove to 23,000 feet (7,010 m) in a deep spot of a seafloor trench near Guam. The dive in 1959 stole the depth record away from the French, who were still using their own updated version of Piccard’s original design.

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