National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Robert Ballard discovered the Titanic and wants to preserve the most famous ship in history from plunder and decay.
Among the most accomplished and well known of the world's deep-sea explorers, Robert Ballard is best known for his historic discoveries of hydrothermal vents, the sunken R.M.S. Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and numerous other contemporary and ancient shipwrecks around the world. During his long career he has conducted more than 120 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology, and he is a pioneer in the early use of deep-diving submarines.
Ballard has pioneered distance learning in the classrooms of America and around the world with the JASON Project, an award-winning educational program that reaches more than 1 million students and 25,000 teachers annually. He has received prestigious awards from the Explorers Club and the National Geographic Society—the Explorers Medal and the Hubbard Medal, respectively—as well as the Lindbergh Award. In 2003 President George W. Bush presented him with the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal in the Oval Office of the White House.
Ballard is president of the Institute for Exploration, scientist emeritus from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Director of the newly created Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. His new ship of exploration, the E/V Nautilus operated by his Ocean Exploration Trust spends four to five months at sea each year and will be exploring the Black Sea, Aegean, Mediterranean, and Atlantic Ocean in 2011, beaming back his exploration around the clock on Nautilus Live.
U.S. scientific society founded in 1888 in Washington, D.C., by a small group of eminent explorers and scientists for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge. At the turn of the 21st century it had approximately nine million members. It has supported more than 7,000 major scientific projects and expeditions, including those of Robert E. Peary, Richard E. Byrd, the Leakey family, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Jane Goodall, and Dian Fossey. It has published numerous books, atlases, and bulletins and has created hundreds of television documentaries. National Geographic Magazine is a monthly magazine of geography, archaeology, anthropology, and exploration. It became a leader in reproducing colour photographs and printing photographs of undersea life, views from the stratosphere, and animals in their natural habitats. It also became famous for articles containing substantial information on environmental, social, and cultural aspects of the regions covered. See alsoGilbert Grosvenor.
The Titanic.The Bettmann ArchiveBritish luxury passenger liner that sank on April 15, 1912, en route to New York from Southampton, England, on its maiden voyage. Over 1,500 of its 2,200 passengers were lost. The largest and most luxurious ship afloat, it had a double-bottomed hull divided into 16 watertight compartments. Because four of these could be flooded without endangering its buoyancy, it was considered unsinkable. Shortly before midnight on April 14, it collided with an iceberg southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland; five compartments ruptured and the ship sank. As a result, new rules were drawn up requiring that the number of places in lifeboats equal the number of passengers (the Titanic had only 1,178 lifeboat places for 2,224 passengers) and that all ships maintain a 24-hour radio watch for distress signals (a ship less than 20 mi [32 km] away had not heard the Titanic's distress signal because no one had been on duty). The International Ice Patrol was established to monitor icebergs in shipping lanes. In 1985 the wreck was found lying upright in two pieces at a depth of 13,000 ft (4,000 m) and was explored by American and French scientists using an unmanned submersible (seeRobert Ballard).