One of my biggest sources of inspiration ...

   I drove up to Dallas today to catch the Deepsea Challenger on its trip across the continental US. It's being transported by truck from San Diego to Woods Hole and one of its stops is at the new Perot Museum.

It does not disappoint. It was pretty much exactly what I was expecting. I guess I did enough reading on the subject that I had already answered all the easy questions. Of course the event was intended to show the sub off to the general public and to schoolkids, but I got to walk right up to the boat and look at the detail.

   It was pretty hard to see inside this thing, but the exact-copy training sphere was open for everyone to look at. I was somewhat surprised that there's only one o-ring on the hatch, but then again .... After seeing some of the things I saw in the Navy, I'm guessing that o-ring really isn't necessary at all. It certainly can't hold back 15,000 psi.

   The body had a lot more plain old fiberglass (at least it looks like fiberglass) than I was expecting. I guess it works just fine. You can't compress a flat sheet.

   And finally the infamous thrusters. I read that every single one of the maneuvering thrusters failed while on the bottom. I don't know why, assuming the motors are pressure tolerant. I can't guess what type of duct that is just from this picture, but the duct and propeller design look like they're pretty standard.
   So there it is, the Deepsea Challenger. It's an amazing ship. Hopefully the next time I see it I'll get to get closer than just looking at it from the ground.