Submersible specifics: What is the Titan, the vehicle lost on tourist experience to Titanic?

As the search continues for the submersible that went missing during a trip to take tourists to see the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, many are wondering what the Titan is and how a submersible differs from a submarine.

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Who owns the Titan?

The Titan is owned and operated by Everett, Washington-based OceanGate “for charter and exploration travel.”

What is the Titan?

According to OceanGate, the Titan “is a Cyclops-class manned submersible designed to take five people to depths of 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) for site survey and inspection, research and data collection, film and media production, and deep sea testing of hardware and software.”

Who built the Titan and how big is it?

The submersible’s owner, OceanGate, designed and built the Titan, which measures 22 feet by 9.2 feet by 8 feet. It weighs about 21,000 pounds and has a payload of 1,510 pounds.

What is the Titan made of?

The New York Times reported that it is made of carbon fiber and titanium.

How fast does the Titan go?

The Titan has a speed of 3 knots or about 3.4 MPH.

What equipment does the Titan use?

The Titan has “state-of-the-art lighting and sonar navigation systems.” It also has 4K video and photographic equipment and room for additional “monitoring, inspection, and data collection equipment.”

It is controlled with a video game controller and was filled with “off-the-shelf” equipment, CBS News reported in November.

How many people can be on board the Titan?

Five people can be inside the submersible — one pilot and four crew members.

How long could life support function?

The New York Times reported the Titan has life support for 96 hours for a full crew.

Was the Titan certified to dive?

The newspaper reported that the underwater vehicle did not undergo certification by a “reputable marine group” that licenses other watercraft.

When asked about the certification, a spokesperson for OceanGate told the Times by email, “We are unable to provide any additional information at this time.”

What is the difference between a submarine and a submersible?

Submersibles go under the water for a few hours. They do not have communication, food, sleeping areas or restrooms, the Times reported. They also depend on a support ship, which will take it to the dive site, according to Insider.

They have a limited range and a specific mission, Time reported. They also have limited propulsion and no ballast system.

Submarines operate independently. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a submarine “has enough power to leave port and come back to port under its own power.”