Navy Scuttles U.S.-Soviet Alvin Dive

The little scientific submersible Alvin marked its 25th anniversary of deep-sea exploration last month, but even as oceanographers staged a gala party on the Woods Hole, Mass., waterfront, the Alvin was becoming the center of an international brouhaha over technology transfer. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which operates the Navy-owned sub for the scientific community, had hoped to stage joint dives off Bermuda later this summer with the Soviet Union’s two new Finnish-bulit deep-diving submersibles, Mir I and Mir II. Involving an exchange of U.S. and Soviet scientists, the joint dives would have been largely symbolic, with only a minimum of science involved: But the Navy so far has managed to sink this display of glasnost , arguing that the Soviets might learn the details of the high-tech instrumentation aboard Alvin. U.S. researchers, however, dispute this. “The objections about national security are frivolous horseshit,” says...

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