Voyages: Last cruise

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Last cruise

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Last cruise map

Ault's voyages:
Easter Island
Last cruise
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Ocean Magnetic
Survey Expeditions

A fter a six-year hiatus at her dock on the Potomac River, the Carnegie was recommissioned in 1927 for her most ambitious task yet - a comprehensive oceanographic and geophysical cruise projected to last three years.   New instruments and laboratories would equip Carnegie to take samples of the ocean bottom, measure the temperature and composition of seawater, collect biological specimens, and determine gravity at sea.   Pilot-balloons would be launched to probe the atmosphere, and echo-sounding equipment used to discover new submarine peaks and ridges.   Wireless communication with radio amateurs in the U.S. and Australia would keep the crew in touch with headquarters in Washington throughout.

On May 1, 1928 Carnegie set out under Captain Ault's command.   Good progress was made, with two crossings of the Atlantic and Pacific.   But 45,000 miles into Cruise VII disaster struck - while refueling in the harbor at Apia, Samoa on November 29, 1929 a gasoline explosion occurred.   Captain Ault and cabin-boy Anthony Kolar lost their lives and Carnegie with all her equipment destroyed in the ensuing fire.

Taking off Nansen bottle Baloon on scales Ault releasing baloon
Ault taking off "Nansen bottle", used to sample deep-sea water, 1928. Pilot balloon on scales, preparatory to ascent, 1928. Ault releasing pilot balloon, to measure upper air currents, 1928.
Sighting on the pilot baloon Ault in diving helmet Carnegie on fire
Sighting on pilot balloon with sextant and theodolite, 1929. Ault in diving helmet, going down to disentangle bottom sample wire from hull, 1929. Carnegie on fire following explosion in Apia harbor, Samoa, November 29, 1929.

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Exhibit was mounted on 07/19/2004.