"It was early morning on May 10 when the control room went dark aboard a research vessel drifting through one of the deepest points in the ocean. Transmissions from Nereus—the deepest-diving of the few unmanned deep-sea exploration vehicles in the world—would never reach the surface again. [...]
The rover’s destruction left a massive void in scientists’ ability to study the hostile environment, and it’s not the first to have gone down. It joins a list of five deep-sea exploration vehicles that have been lost or near-fatally damaged on the job since 2003. They went AWOL all around the world—from the waters around Antarctica to just off a Japanese Island—for a host of reasons. Still, the secrets contained in the least hospitable parts of the ocean reveal why sending millions of dollars of machines after them is worth it."
Read the rest of my article about the loss of this unique vehicle and its contributions to science for The Daily Beast here.