This is an illustration of the sunken Titanic.

Oceangate Expeditions


Journey to the Titanic

Explorers are planning to visit the world's most famous shipwreck before it rots away.

As You Read: Think about why people are fascinated by the Titanic.

Ever since she was a little girl, Renata Rojas has had one dream: to visit the shipwreck of the RMS Titanic. Like millions of others, Rojas is fascinated by one of the worst disasters in history.

On April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail from its port in England. It made headlines as the largest, fastest, and fanciest ship of its day. And many people believed it was unsinkable.

But four days later, the ship crashed into an iceberg. In just a few hours, it sank to the bottom of the sea. More than 1,500 people died.

A company called OceanGate is planning expeditions to the famous wreck in 2020. Rojas will be one of about 40 tourists to assist scientists as they study what’s left of the ship—before it disappears.

“I’m going to be part of history,” says Rojas.

Renata Rojas has had one dream ever since she was a little girl. That dream is to visit the shipwreck of the RMS Titanic. Millions of people are fascinated by one of the worst disasters in history. Rojas has long been one of them.

On April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail from its port in England. It made headlines at the time. It was the largest, fastest, and fanciest ship of its day. And many people believed it was unsinkable.

But the ship crashed into an iceberg four days later. It sank to the bottom of the sea in just a few hours. More than 1,500 people died.

A company called OceanGate is planning expeditions to the famous wreck in 2020. Rojas will be one of about 40 tourists on the trips. The tourists will assist scientists as they study what’s left of the ship—before it disappears.

“I’m going to be part of history,” says Rojas.

A Titanic Discovery

The final resting place of the Titanic was a mystery for decades. Explorer Robert Ballard discovered the wreck in 1985. Since then, about 200 people, including archaeologists and filmmakers, have visited it.

Historians have learned a lot from those journeys. Thousands of objects have been found so far. Items such as tickets, menus, and clothing have given us an idea of what was going on aboard the doomed ship. Are there more treasures yet to be found?

The final resting place of the Titanic was a mystery for decades. Explorer Robert Ballard discovered the wreck in 1985. About 200 people have visited it since then. These people include archaeologists and filmmakers.

Historians have learned a lot from those journeys. Thousands of objects have been found so far. These items include tickets, menus, and clothing. They have given us an idea of what was going on aboard the doomed ship. Are there more treasures yet to be found?

Rotting Away

There’s not much time left to find out. Some experts say what’s left of the ship might be gone in 20 years.

For decades, ocean currents and sea creatures have worn away at the Titanic. And pieces of the wreck have broken apart. Experts say that’s likely from past explorers bumping small ships, called submersibles, into it.

The most alarming threat is metal-munching bacteria. They live in rusty, icicle-like formations called rusticles and eat away at the ship.

There’s not much time left to find out. Some experts say what’s left of the ship might be gone in 20 years. 

Ocean currents and sea creatures have worn away at the Titanic for decades. And pieces of the wreck have broken apart. Experts say that’s likely from past explorers bumping small ships into it. These ships are called submersibles.

The most alarming threat is metal-munching bacteria. They live in rusty, icicle-like formations called rusticles. And these bacteria eat away at the ship.

Into the Deep

OceanGate’s main goal is to analyze just how fast the Titanic is deteriorating. To get down to the ship, members of the crew will cram into a tiny submersible. They’ll descend more than 12,000 feet down into the nearly pitch-black ocean. Rojas and the crew will use special equipment to take scans of the ship. Those images will be used to create an updated 3-D map of the wreck. Scientists will compare the new images with older ones to determine how quickly the ship is decaying.

Rojas says there’s another important reason to go down and visit the Titanic.

“We shouldn’t forget about the disaster or the people who died,” she says. “Visiting the Titanic helps us remember.”

OceanGate’s main goal is to analyze just how fast the Titanic is deteriorating. Members of the crew will cram into a tiny submersible to get down to the ship. They’ll descend more than 12,000 feet down into the nearly pitch-black ocean.

Rojas and the crew will use special equipment to take scans of the ship. Those images will be used to create an updated 3-D map of the wreck. Scientists will compare the new images with older ones. This will determine how quickly the ship is decaying.

Rojas says there’s another important reason to go down and visit the Titanic.

“We shouldn’t forget about the disaster or the people who died,” she says. “Visiting the Titanic helps us remember.”

  1. How does Renata Rojas feel about visiting the Titanic?
  2. Why is the Titanic deteriorating?
  3. What is the purpose of the sidebar "From Ship to Wreck"?
  1. How does Renata Rojas feel about visiting the Titanic?
  2. Why is the Titanic deteriorating?
  3. What is the purpose of the sidebar "From Ship to Wreck"?

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