A well known submarine has taken up temporary residence in Gulfport. The submersible vehicle, known as Alvin, was built back in the 1960s. Since then, it has been an invaluable tool for deep sea research and exploration.
Alvin recently went through a complete renovation, and has yet to go on a research trip since, until now.
Alvin will spend the next few months exploring the Gulf of Mexico to research things such as the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. University of Southern Mississippi Dr. Vernon Asper says this is not his first experience with the vehicle.
"I have been privileged to make six dives in Alvin back in the 80s in the Pacific Ocean down to about two and a half miles," said Asper. "There is a whole new world, a whole other world down there in the bottom of the ocean that most people never get to see. Alvin is about the only game in town for getting down to see these things."
Among its many accomplishments, Alvin found a missing hydrogen bomb in the Mediterranean Sea in 1966, and it was the first submersible to explore the Titanic in 1986. Alvin also contributed to the discovery of the hydrothermal vents that lie thousands of feet under the ocean's surface.