Robert Ballard

In 1985, Dr. Robert Ballard and his colleagues designed a submarine that would allow them to descend to the depths of 3800 meters to find the most famous wreck of the twentieth century ; the bow of the legendary H.M.S. Titanic.

Dr. Robert Ballard is more than an explorer he is the visionary behind the JASON Project, a Web-based science course used by teachers around the US for children in grades four through to nine. There is also a program available to home scholars, as well as opportunities for children to participate in actual explorations as Argonauts.

“People have this concept that the ocean is remote. But 12,000 feet, the average depth of the ocean, is only the distance from the Oval Office to the Pentagon… It’s two different worlds, but it’s not far”. By using maps and deductive reasoning, he was able to locate two Phoenician ships that were nearly three thousand years old.

In February 2002, Ballard travelled to the Weddell Sea off Antarctica to search for Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, which sank in 1915. He and his crew had to break through a 21-foot ice canopy, then descend 9,000 feet into the water.

Other than Captain Nemo, Ballard’s other heroes include several famous explorers: Captain James Cook, Charles Darwin, and Lewis and Clark. As he told the Los Angeles Times, I’ve spent most of my life on pieces of the Earth where I was the first human being to be there and I want to share that.