Trust the Process...


Trust the process..

  International Space Station Interior

 Titan Submersible Interior 

In the future men and women will colonize earth’s upper atmosphere, and from there return to the Moon, and many more years from now, travel to Mars. Yes, that’s what awaits our descendants! It’s already been proven with the International Space Station that continuous habitation beyond terrestrial earth is possible.

Men and women will eventually inhabit the oceans at various depths. Why? There’s an abundance of accessible resources to sustain human life in the sea…under the right conditions. Whether in space or the ocean, new frontiers of human habitation will only be survivable through constant self-preparedness and willingness to comply with the supremacy of physical laws.

Last week, a tragedy occurred that attracted world attention. The Titan Submersible, owned by OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, was destroyed during its attempted 3rd dive to the Titanic. Investigators concluded that the vessel imploded and all perished instantly, before they understood what was happening. My prayers and deepest sympathies are with the families of the five victims.

Mr. Rush had well-meaning objectives, yet evidence indicates that the Titan Submersible was not well prepared for successive dives. The submersible…was made with experimental materials, including carbon fiber, which experts say has not been pressure-tested over time in such extreme depths… In contrast U.S. Navy submarines are made with carbon steel, a “tried and true material” that is reliable and thoroughly understood…”. – NBC News, 6/23/2023.  It appears that it was a matter of time before flaws in Mr. Rush’s DNV-GL uncertified engineering design and safety protocols encountered the immutable and unforgiving laws of physics.  It did, on the 3rd dive.

Why does certification exist for so many STEM professional practices anyway? Safety! It’s not only to fortify regular preparedness in one’s profession and earn public trust.  Certification can deter our human tendency to allow unpreparedness to become an acceptable risk, buffered by one’s “blind faith” or “supreme confidence in intellect.” We are tempted by time, money, or ego, to take the path of least resistance. At the end of the day, neither faith nor intellect can override God’s laws of physics.  

Processes of professional Certification and validation exist throughout our society. Most of us trust in them without a second thought, otherwise, we wouldn’t board a plane, an elevator, or get that pesky pile removed.  

Stockton Rush, for reasons justifiable to him, bypassed an industry DNV-GL Certification process that his peers, Phillip Cousteau Jr., Bob Ballard, James Cameron (Titanic movie) , and Russian submersible companies supported and/or adhered to.

“One of the red flags about the Titan was its certification — or lack thereof… the Marine Technology Society, flagged the company's marketing materials which advertised that the Titan's design would meet or exceed a certification called DNV-GL…considered the gold standard for marine equipment…” CBS News, 6/22/23 Eventually, the hidden unexpected “expected” happened. Lessons will be learned for months to come about building greater safety in deep sea expeditions.

Nonetheless, what happened to the Titan Submersible, and similar past tragedies, should never hinder exploration. A self-preparedness to learn, un-learn, and re-learn is essential to survival, revival, and thriving on land, air, or sea!

Some folks will interpret the OceanGate incident as a cautionary tale that “we’ve got no business exploring the deep sea or outer space” …or any other unfamiliar place for that matter!

I conclude, to the visioneers, and pioneers, and futurists out there, trust the process. Keep Learning. Pay your dues. Stay prepared, Certified where it applies, and prayerful. The future is worth exploring. – Pam Kelly

Disclaimer: There is no intent in this article to disparage Mr. Stockton, or the Titan Submersible travelers with him. May their legacy and love of adventure and exploration live on.


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