Point Nemo: The Watery, Earthbound Graveyard Where Spaceships Go to Die.

by Owen James Burke

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Graphic: Gizmodo.

Off the coast of New Zealand is a place where spacecraft go to die. So far, 161 ships and counting are resting on the south Pacific ocean floor, most scattered into millions of pieces, because when an airplane hits the sea from 5 miles high, it breaks up, but a crash-landed spaceship is obliterated and can leave debris trails thousands of kilometers long, as was the case with the Mir space station.

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Go figure, this site is right near Captain Nemo’s last stronghold, the Nautilus’ secret portage, and H.P. Lovecraft’s sunken city of R’lyeh. Graphic: Gizmodo.

The spacecraft–most of which belonging to Russia, formerly–lie roughly two and a half miles beneath the sea between the bathyal and abyssal zones, where, like space, there is little light and no heat.

Watch video footage of the Jules Verne, one of the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs), scatter and splat into the sea. From start to finish, it took about 12 minutes before the very last fragment to hit the water:

Read more at Gizmodo. -OJB

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