Glomar Explorer

GSF Explorer, formerly USNS Hughes Glomar Explorer (T-AG-193), is a deep-sea drillship platform initially built for the United States Central Intelligence Agency Special Activities Division secret operation Project Azorian to recover the sunken Soviet submarine K-129, lost in April 1968.

Hughes Glomar Explorer (HGE), as the ship was called at the time, was built between 1973 and 1974, by Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Hughes told the media that the ship’s purpose was to extract manganese nodules from the ocean floor.

Glomar Explorer C1

The Hughes Glomar Explorer employed a large mechanical claw, which Lockheed officially titled the “Capture Vehicle” but affectionately called Clementine. The capture vehicle was designed to be lowered to the ocean floor, grasp around the targeted submarine section, and then lift that section into the ship’s hold.

Glomar Explorer O

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