Friday, June 7, 2013

Science: Oops Moment (Submarine too heavy to resurface!)

Here's an "oops!" moment if there ever was one!

Spanish build submarine that's too heavy to resurface

Officials are afraid to let the submarine submerge after a design error was discovered.

Photograph by: Handout , Navantia

HARTFORD, Conn. — A new, Spanish-designed submarine has a weighty problem: The vessel is more than 70 tons too heavy, and officials fear if it goes out to sea, it will not be able to surface.
And a former Spanish official says the problem can be traced to a miscalculation — someone apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place.

“It was a fatal mistake,” said Rafael Bardaji, who until recently was director of the Office of Strategic Assessment at Spain’s Defence Ministry.

The Isaac Peral, the first in a new class of diesel-electric submarines, was nearly completed when engineers discovered the problem. A U.S. Navy contractor in Connecticut, Electric Boat, has signed a deal to help the Spanish Defence Ministry find ways to slim down the 2,200-ton submarine.

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