A team of scientists will launch an expedition to the Titanic next month to assess the deteriorating condition of the world’s most famous shipwreck and create a detailed three-dimensional map that will “virtually raise the Titanic” for the public, reports the Associated Press. The expedition to the site two-and-a-half miles beneath the North Atlantic is billed as the most advanced scientific mission to the Titanic wreck since its discovery 25 years ago. The 20-day expedition is to leave St. John’s, Newfoundland, on Aug. 18 under a partnership between RMS Titanic Inc., which has exclusive salvage rights to the wreck, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. The expedition will not collect artifacts but will probe a 2-by-3-mile debris field where hundreds of thousands of artifacts remain scattered. Some of the world’s most frequent visitors to the site will be part of the expedition, along with a who’s who of underwater scientists and organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Organizers say the new scientific data and images ultimately will be accessible to the public. “For the first time, we’re really going to treat it as an archaeological site with two things in mind,” said David Gallo, an expedition leader and Woods Hole scientist. “One is to preserve the legacy of the ship by enhancing the story of the Titanic itself. The second part is to really understand what the state of the ship is.”
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