For immediate release: Feb. 24, 2010
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Office of Naval Research (ONR) will mark the 50th anniversary of the historic deep-sea dive of the Trieste with an April 15 ceremony at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
On Jan. 23, 1960, the Trieste plunged more than 35,810 feet to the deepest known point on the Earth's surface, the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.
Chief of Naval Research Rear Admiral Nevin Carr will present Dr. Don Walsh, who steered the ONR-funded vessel to its record-setting dive, the Secretary of the Navy Civilian Service Award. ONR purchased the Swiss-Italian-made Trieste in 1958 to support the Navy's new deep submergence program and submarine rescue operations.
"The 'high-risk, high-payoff' maxim is synonymous with the Office of Naval Research," Carr said. "That was true 50 years ago when ONR saw the potential for both scientific investigation and naval service in the Trieste. And it's true today as we continue to play a critical role in advancing scientific knowledge with a focus on the 'next big thing' for our Navy and Marine Corps warfighters."