Russian expedition using deep-diving subs plans world tour

Sagalevich has led many unique dives on board the 'Mir' craft that has explored ocean depths and is being used in the project. He said the project envisaged about 70 dives on board the 'Mir' craft along the route of the research ship for hydrological, geological and archaeological research, and environmental observations.

There is a vast program for filming documentaries in the project estimated at almost 30 million euros, the scientist said. He explained that the choice of a foreign vessel capable of carrying the deep-diving vehicles was a forced measure, because the Russian ship with this capability -- The Akademik Mstislav Keldysh -- had been charted out, and its participation in the work was not on the agenda.

The scientist of world renown took part in the first international scientific and practical conference on the problems of studying and preserving the maritime heritage of Russia in St Petersburg this week.

The forum brought together more than three hundred scientists, historians and museum professionals from eleven countries. Over more than twenty years of using the 'Mir' craft in different parts of the world ocean Russian specialists have developed many invaluable deep-water know-hows, the scientist said.

Many of them will be used in the upcoming world expedition, due to begin at a still to be established date, he added. The 'Mir' mini-subs have participated in the filming of 'Titanic' and in the probes into the causes of The Komsomolets and The Kursk submarine disasters. The findings made as a result of Mir craft dives are on museum display around the world.(Itar-Tass)

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