'Titanic' mapping expedition sets sail (Update)
A high-tech expedition that aims to create a detailed map of the wreckage of the Titanic, nearly a hundred years after the fabled ship sank in the Atlantic, set sail from Canada on Monday.
"At 8:38 pm (0038 GMT Tuesday) on a beautiful moonlit Monday night, the Jean Charcot left St. John's for the open waters of the North Atlantic. Expedition Titanic is officialy underway," the crew wrote on the mission's Facebook page.
The trip was postponed by one day, after the crew said "some final equipment tests" needed to be conducted.
The expedition plans to use sonar technology and high-resolution optical video and imaging to document the wreck site, in the most technologically advanced scientific expedition to the Titanic ever mounted, organizers said.
Christopher Davino, president of RMS Titanic, said in a statement that the goal is to "create the most detailed portrait of Titanic's wreck site to date."
The team of experts, he said, "will be using some of the most advanced technology available to create a portrait of the ship unlike any that has been created before -- virtually raising Titanic and sealing her current state forever in the minds and hearts of humanity."
The mission, which set sail from St John's, Newfoundland, will provide real-time video and photo updates on Facebook and Twitter during a more than 20-day expedition.
Other images and information will be found on the mission's website, www.expeditiontitanic.com .
The Titanic, a luxury passenger ship once thought to be unsinkable, hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and sank in the early morning of April 15, 1912, killing 1,500 people.
After decades of searching, the wreckage of the Titanic was discovered in 1985 some four kilometers (2.5 miles) beneath the surface of the sea.
(c) 2010 AFP