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Device used to control missing Titanic sub is a 'gaming controller' from the 2000s

Emily Brown

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| Last updated 

Device used to control missing Titanic sub is a 'gaming controller' from the 2000s

Featured Image Credit: OceanGate/YouTube/CBC NL - Newfoundland and Labrador

The device used to control the missing Titan submersible vessel has been self-described by the CEO of tour company OceanGate as a 'game controller'.

Titan is used by OceanGate as part of an eight-day trip which will set customers back a whopping $250,000, and includes an excursion 12,5000 feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic to explore the wreck of the Titanic.

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It has now been missing since Sunday (18 June), with five people on board. The vessel is believed to have less than 41 hours worth of oxygen left.

OceanGate has confirmed that Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, is one of the five missing people.

A frantic search and rescue mission is underway, with vessels from the US, Canada and France all getting involved in the operation.

Rush previously spoke about Titan and its features in a CBC TV segment with David Pogue, who has now pointed out that the vessel went missing for a 'few hours' when he was on the expedition last summer.

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The Titan has gone missing before. Credit: Twitter/@pogue
The Titan has gone missing before. Credit: Twitter/@pogue

“There’s no GPS underwater, so the surface ship is supposed to guide the sub to the ship wreck by sending text messages,” Pogue explained in the segment. “But on this dive, communications somehow broke down."

Using the guide from the mothership on the surface of the water, Titan is controlled with a simple system which Rush described to Pogue.

"We only have one button, that's it. It should be like an elevator, it shouldn't take a lot of skill," Rush said. "We run the whole thing with this game controller."

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The 'controller' in question was revealed to be a modified Logitech gamepad controller, a controller prominent in the early 2000s which is compatible with systems dating back to the 90s.

Unlike a submarine, the Titan does not have enough power to leave and return to port by itself, instead relying on the mother ship to transport it.

The vessel is controlled with a gaming controller. Credit: YouTube/CBC NL - Newfoundland and Labrador
The vessel is controlled with a gaming controller. Credit: YouTube/CBC NL - Newfoundland and Labrador

Rush shared with Pogue that some of the parts inside the vessel were 'off-the-shelf components', using one of its interior lights, bought from the recreational-vehicle company CamperWorld, as an example.

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However, he insisted that the creators of Titan had worked with the likes of Boeing, NASA, and the University of Washington to create a vessel which is capable of withstanding deep-sea pressure.

As a result, Rush explained: "Everything else can fail. Your thrusters can go, your lights can go, you're still going to be safe."

Rescuers have said they're currently searching an area roughly the size of the state of Connecticut to try and find the vessel.

Topics: News, US News, World News, Science, Technology

Emily Brown
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