Manned Submersibles Open the Ocean to a New Era of Individual ExplorationStockton Rush wanted to be the first person to walk on Mars – a dream fostered by NASA’s Apollo program, Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey. This dream inspired him enough that in 1981, at age 19, he became the youngest jet transport rated pilot in the world. 10 years ago he realized that much of the life to be discovered is right here on Earth. In fact, if we think about the dirt we live on as ‘Earth’, there are an additional three planets worth of oil, minerals, precious gems and other mysteries on this planet yet to be discovered in the oceans – and only 5% of the ocean depths have been explored to date. There are over 250,000 species and hundreds of thousands of shipwrecks and other wonders yet to be discovered.
Stockton believes the ocean is underexplored beyond scuba depths because, up to now, the opportunities to go deep have been restricted to a handful of scientists and film makers. In large, part this restriction is because currently there are only six research submersibles in the world capable of diving to 4,000 meters (roughly the average depth of the oceans) and all are government owned.
To change this, and open the ocean to a new era of human exploration, Stockton is leading the development of a new class of manned submersibles and delivery systems. OceanGate is currently developing Cyclops 2 to add to its fleet of manned submersibles. Scheduled to debut in 2017, Cyclops 2 will be the only privately owned submersible in the world capable of taking 5 crew members to depths of 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Dive targets in this depth range include RMS Titanic, wrecks of the Battle of Coral Sea, many hydrothermal vents, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Galapagos Rift.
Stockton will share images of some of the dozens of submersible expeditions he has led in the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico oceans. Including his most recent expeditions where he led a week-long manned submersible expedition to explore the legendary Andrea Doria to capture detailed sonar images of this iconic shipwreck. The expedition crew included two Explorers Club Members who participated as mission specialists. He will also discuss the expedition he led to British Columbia to film the elusive Sixgill sharks. Other expeditions include the discovery of a lost CIA dive lockout chamber near Catalina Island, the mapping of a sunken gold rush era paddle wheeler in Lake Laberge in the Yukon Territory, and the discovery of a Grumman F6F Hellcat aircraft that crashed and sank near Miami, carrying Explorers Club Flag #75.
Over the past 20 years, Stockton has overseen the development of multiple successful ventures. He most recently served on the Board of Directors for Seattle’s BlueView Technologies, a manufacturer of small, high-frequency 2D and 3D sonar systems. In 1989, Stockton personally built a Glasair III experimental aircraft, which he still owns and flies today. He also completed a heavily modified Kittredge K-350 two-man submersible, in which he has conducted over 50 dives to date.
Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Presentation
Location: Club Headquarters, 46 East 70th Street, NY, NY, 10021
Member Ticket Price: $10
Guest Ticket Price: $25
Student Ticket Price:
$5 with a valid academic ID
Reservations are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis.