The Titan, a submarine owned by OceanGate, which offers tourists a unique opportunity to visit the Titanic wreck for a hefty price of $250,000, is controlled by a surprisingly affordable video game controller. This revelation was made by Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, during an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” last year.
Rush showcased what seemed to be a modified Logitech F710 wireless gamepad, a device that was initially launched in 2011. This controller, which can be purchased refurbished on Amazon for a mere $30, has been adapted with elongated sticks to facilitate the control of the Titan submarine.
The Logitech F710 is powered by AA batteries and features a “Four-switch D-pad for precise control,” operates on “Fast 2.4 GHz wireless via USB nano receiver,” and provides “Dual-motor vibration feedback,” according to the Logitech website.
OceanGate’s expeditions to the Titanic start from St. John’s, Newfoundland, and travel approximately 370 miles to the Titanic wreck. These trips last eight days, with each dive to the wreck and ascent to the surface taking about eight hours.
OceanGate, established by Rush in 2009, owns several custom-built submersibles, including the Titan. The Titan was specifically designed to reach the depths of 13,123 feet necessary to visit the Titanic wreck, which is located at a depth of about 12,500 feet. The Titan uses SpaceX’s Starlink satellite communications system when at sea.
The Titan can support its five-person crew for 96 hours. The submersible departed the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince on a Sunday morning for its trip to the Titanic. However, the ship lost contact with the sub after about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The Coast Guard has been unable to find any traces of the submarine after searching 10,000 square miles.
Rush expressed his concerns about obstacles that could prevent the vessel from returning to the surface in an interview last year. He mentioned overhangs, fish nets, and entanglement hazards as potential issues but stated that these could be avoided with careful piloting techniques.