The Archive

NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, went on an expedition in 2003 to RMS Titanic's wreck site. In their expedition they captured footage of the bow, stern, and debris field. Here you'll find approximately 24 hours of unedited footage and experience Titanic more personally than ever before.

James Cameron is the director of films such as Titanic (1997), Ghosts of the Abyss (IMAX - 2003) and directed or worked on documentaries including Last Mysteries of the Titanic and Tony Robinson's "Titanic Adventure." Between 1995-2005, Cameron participated in a series of expeditions that sent ROV's deep into the interior. In this section you'll find nearly 7 hours of ROV footage from between 2001-2005.

In 2010, NOAA and RMSTI launched a coordinated expedition that aimed to survey the entire wreck site for the first time in history. In the summer of 2010, the expedition used SONAR equipment and a state of the art ROV to survey the bow, stern, and the entirety of the debris field. This created the first comprehensive map of the site. In the fall of 2019, The Telegraph was able to release approximately an hour and a half of High Definition footage from that expedition.

Expedition Photo Gallery

Topside operations with the MIR submersibles, Hercules ROV and ARGUS are an incredible thing to witness. You can see high resolution imagery of the launch and recovery process, shipboard life, wreck photos and more in our photo gallery, which contains images taken by expedition photographers in both 2003 and 2004.

The Golden Age
NOAA 2002-2004

In the Early 2000's, a perfect storm of public interest brewed. James Cameron's Titanic (1997) introduced the ship to a new generation of enthusiasts. In 2001, Cameron returned to Titanic and filmed his IMAX documentary Ghosts of the Abyss which fanned the flames of public interest. The ship became a global fascination, which made a convincing argument to invest in expeditions to the site. Public interest provides funding opportunities after all, and the advertising revenue from TV documentaries often helped make back the expenses.

During this golden age of Titanic exploration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched 3 expeditions in 2002, 2003, and 2004. These expeditions brought back photomosaics of the wreck site, surveyed the deterioration of the ship and helped provide better understanding of the "rusticles" that have developed on the wreck. In the late 1998, four IPSCO Test Platforms were deployed at the wreck site for later recovery. These platforms contained test strips of steels used in maritime construction, with each sample being represented as clean as well as damaged in various ways. During the 2003 expedition, These IPSCO Test Platforms were recovered and taken back to the surface for further examination, providing new insight into the bacterial organisms that make up the rusticles and the rate at which they are breaking Titanic down. Microbiologist Lori Johnston was involved in the 2003 expedition to support this effort, and her voice can be heard in the cockpit audio of the submersibles in certain parts of the 2003 footage in this archive.

The early 2000's expeditions remain some of the most in depth explorations of Titanic's wreck site, only being surpassed by the 2010 NOAA Survey expedition. To this day, however, there has never been a more comprehensive exploration by a manned expedition to the site.