In 1977, Ballard and a small team set out for the North Atlantic to search for the Titanic. Hopes were high. But only days into the voyage, a huge piece of Ballard’s ship plunged into the sea, forcing the team to return home.
Ballard wanted to try again, but it was difficult to get the money he would need for another attempt. Instead, he decided to concentrate on a different goal.
For years, Ballard had wanted to create a safer, more effective way to explore the deep sea. Submersibles allowed scientists like Ballard to go deep underwater—but the trips were dangerous, and the submersibles could stay down for only a few hours at a time.
Ballard wanted to build a remote-controlled submersible that would carry cameras, not people, deep underwater. His invention would take pictures and videos that scientists could watch from a ship above.