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The Deepsea Challenger

        The 24 ft (7.3 m) tall, 11.8 ton DEEPSEA CHALLENGER has three main sections. The beam, the biggest single component, is made of a new kind of foam that provides both flotation and a strong structural core. The pilot sphere is slung below the beam, and below that an array of scientific gear stands ready to deploy at the bottom.
        About 70% of the submarine’s volume is taken up by syntactic foam. This is formed of millions of hollow glass microspheres suspended in an epoxy resin and is the only flotation material that can stand up to the incredible pressures in the deep ocean. The new type of syntactic foam developed for this project is called ISOFLOAT™ and has been patented.
        The sub descends because of more than 1000 lbs (450 kg) of steel weights held on to either side by electromagnets. To rise to the surface, the pilot flips a switch, the plates of steel will fall to the ocean floor, and the lighter-than-water foam will hurtle the sub skyward.