Recovering space history

For the survey crews of John E. Chance & Associates Inc., Lafayette, La.-part of the multinational Fugro group of companies-the job site is usually a rig in the Gulf of Mexico. That is, until a couple of months ago, when Chance played a key role in recovering a piece of space history-the Liberty Bell 7 space capsule. For 38 years, Liberty Bell 7 rested on the ocean floor 3 miles down near the Bahamas. It was the only US spacecraft lost at sea after carrying astronaut Virgil "Gus" Grissom on a 15-minute suborbital flight on July 21, 1961.After the Mercury capsule splashed down, emergency explosives detonated prematurely, blowing off the escape hatch, causing it to fill with water and sink ...

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