In 1960 a bathyscaphe took two men to the deepest point on Earth. In 2010 that manned descent to the Mariana Trench—still unmatched—won co-pilot Don Walsh the Hubbard Medal, National Geographic’s top honor for research and discovery. Yet it remains just a single, vital drop in an age of ocean exploration.
The secrets of the deep have emerged from research done far below the waves—and from far above them. Oceanographer Walter Munk deems the satellite TOPEX/Poseidon’s 13-year mapping of the sea surface, showing how currents affect climate, “the most successful ocean experiment of all times.”
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