Curt Newport

Curt Newport, author of Lost Spacecraft: The Search for Liberty Bell 7, was the Space Show guest for this program. Curt Newport is a pioneer in the development and operation of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and works as a consultant to various ocean related organizations. During his work with underwater vehicles, he has accumulated over 4000 hours of piloting time operating Canadian, U.S., and British vehicles in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, English Channel, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Campeche, Formosa Straits, Sea of Japan, Straits of Sicily, South China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. He has participated in numerous high-profile undersea operations such as the salvage of Air India Flight 182, the Space Shuttle Challenger, TWA 800, the broadcast of live images from the sunken ocean liner RMS Titanic, as well as many other classified missions involving the loss of military aircraft and weaponry. In particular, he organized and led an expedition to locate and recover Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom’s Liberty Bell 7 Mercury spacecraft which succeeded in finding the tiny capsule on May 1, 1999 and recovering the space-age artifact from waters 16,043 feet deep later the same year. The Liberty Bell-7 recovery remains the deepest commercial salvage operation in history. Mr. Newport’s accomplishments were recently observed by his alma mater when Capitol College in Laurel, Maryland recently conveyed to him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (D. Sc.) for his role in the recovery of Grissom’s sunken Mercury spacecraft. He also recently led an expedition to the Philippine Sea during a search for the Heavy Cruiser USS Indianapolis, which was the subject of a documentary film broadcast on the Discovery Channel in 2001. In addition, Newport helped find investigate the deepest wooden shipwreck ever discovered (a 19th century merchant ship lost in almost 16,000 feet of water) in June of 2001, using two Russian Mir manned submersibles operating from the Research Vessel Akademik Keldysh. Mr. Newport has lectured on behalf of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and the Kansas Aviation Museum, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and been interviewed by various media organizations such as NBC’s Today Show and Evening News, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, CBS Morning News, USA Today, Florida Today, British Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio, CBS National Radio, Reuters, and the Associated Press.

Broadcast 183 (Special Edition)

Curt Newport is the author of Lost Spacecraft: The Search for Liberty Bell 7. Mr. Newport talks about the effort to recover the Mercury program space capsule flown by Gus Grissom. Both his experience and reaction to seeing Liberty Bell 7 on the ocean floor are remarkable. In addition, Mr. Newport talks at length about finding things in the ocean, working on projects from plane crashes to the Challenger accident. Join us as we explore innerspace as well as outer-space with Curt Newport.

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