ASME Northern New Mexico Section: Technical Meeting/Talk - The CIA Recovery of Russian Submarine K129

October 12 5:30PM - October 12 8:00PM, 2022

12 October 5:30 - 12 October 8:00, 2022

Wednesday - Wednesday Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA
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Join the Northern New Mexico Section for CIA Recovery of Russian Submarine K129, a Study of Failure Mechanisms - a talk by Gerhard Fuchs, Professor. In March 1968, at the height of the Cold War between the US and the USSR, a Russian diesel-powered ballistic missile submarine, the K-129, was mysteriously lost. The sub sank with three (3) of the most advanced (at the time) nuclear- tipped ballistic missiles, nuclear-tipped torpedoes and all of the cryptographic equipment on board. Although the Russian Navy could not locate the sunken submarine, the US Intelligence agencies and the US Navy were able to identify the location and photograph the wreckage without being detected. However, the wreckage was at a depth of about 16,500 feet. No one had ever attempted to salvage a sub from this depth, but the CIA developed a plan, code named Project AZORIAN, to use a drill-string of pipes and a claw-like assembly, referred to as the “CV” (Capture Vehicle), to raise the sunken submarine. During the attempt to lift the submarine off of the ocean floor, several of the “fingers” (or tines) on the CV failed and a significant portion of the submarine fell back to the ocean bottom. The forward 38 feet of the submarine was brought to the surface and examined by the CIA. The majority of the results of that examination, as well as the failure analysis of the CV beams/tines are still classified. The open literature information was used to develop detailed drawings of the CV and the fractures in the tines. The published literature and the detailed drawings from Project AZORIAN, as well as information on the follow-on effort called Project MATADOR, were used by the senior students in EMA4714 (Materials Selection and Failure Analysis) to perform a failure analysis of the tines. The students evaluated the potential causes of the failures and considered alternative designs and materials, including current day materials, for the application. The project also provided a unique opportunity to discuss the nature of the Cold War since all of the students were born after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The seminar will cover the open literature information on Project AZORIAN and Project MATADOR, and the results of the failure analyses performed by the students. Talk will be preceded by talk at the LANL NSSB. Please visit the link above to view the agenda and learn more about how you can participate.

Venue & Location

Fuller Lodge
2132 Central Ave
Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA

More Venue & Location Information

In person event on October 12, 2022 at 5:30pm Mountain Time.

Event Host

ASME Northern New Mexico Section - Los Alamos, NM, USA

Additional Information

This event is being organized by volunteers of the ASME section. ASME in-person activities will follow the state and local laws, regulations and guidelines regarding COVID-19 applicable to the location of the event.

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