Mail Buoy

February 7 responses:

I was wondering what is the deepest depth Jason can travel down to. I am also curious of the materials that Jason is made and do you use some sort of live stream camera on Jason.

Colin Palmer
Palos Verdes Intermediate School
Palos Verdes, CA

Your first two questions were answered in earlier Mail Buoys, here: and here:

Now for your third question. Jason carries several cameras, some of which take still photographs and some of which provide the live video views that the pilots use to guide the vehicle. If you look at a picture of the inside of the Jason control van, you’ll see many screens with different images on them. The images come from cameras on Jason that point in different direction. The pilot looks at all of those views and uses them to create in his own mind a 3-dimensional understanding of where Jason is in relation to its surroundings. It’s kind of like trying to handle an object that’s behind you while seeing the object in a mirror. If you think that’s hard, try doing it with 5 or 6 different views of the object at the same time!

Cherie Winner, Dive & Discover editor



How much does Jason cost?

Selina, Lisa, Steffi, Marcel, Nico, Jan and Jana
LK, Grade 12, Gymnasium Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany

The cost of building Jason 2 (the current vehicle) was around $4 million.  But that doesn’t count infrastructure that already existed, such as the winch on the ship that lifts it and the control vans where the pilots sit.  At today's prices, to reproduce a Jason system including the winch and topside equipment would be at least four times that.

Matt Heintz, WHOI Senior Engineer and Jason pilot



Questions from:
Elementary School (Grundschule) Hofgartenstraße
3rd/4th grade
Bad Kreuznach/Germany

Are the cups squeezed?
The cups get smushed by the very high pressure at great depth. Styrofoam is very lightweight because it contains many tiny air spaces. At high pressure, the air spaces collapse and the entire cup shrinks.

Where exactly are our cups fastened to the submarine?
Actually, we did not attach the net containing the cups directly to Jason. The risk of entanglement was too high. We attached them among the floats on the elevator, which keeps them out of the way (and out of trouble).
Stefan Sievert

Do sharks live in the Pacific Ocean?
Yes, but we didn’t see any on this trip.

What does CV 63 mean?
That label refers to the colonizers that were put out by Costa Vetriani (CV). Since he began working with colonizers several years ago, Costa has numbered every one he puts out. This one was #63.
You can read about the colonizers in one of the daily dispatches:
Stefan Sievert

Are any fish killed during the expedition?
We didn’t collect fish for scientific purposes, but a few members of the crew fished for food to eat, and one unlucky flying fish landed on the deck (and died before we found it—see the Jan. 7 slideshow here:

How many people stay on board?
You can count the people who were on this expedition—they are all listed under “Scientists and Crew” on the left side of every daily dispatch. The people listed under “Web creators” were at WHOI in Massachusetts. All the rest were on the ship.

What do the crew members eat?
Anything that’s on the menu! Check any daily dispatch—over on the right side there’s a button that says “What’s to eat?” Click on that and you’ll see the menu for that day. You can also read about food on the ship here ( Many of our earlier expeditions also had a lot to say about the food aboard ship.