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Conquering the Abyss: Navy’s New DSEND Suit Revolutionizes Deep Sea Diving

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The lights above the water’s surface cast a ghostly glow on the bottom of the sprawling tank, as a U.S. Navy diver deftly swam through a sunken aircraft fuselage.

Wearing a special diving suit designed to protect against the crushing pressure of ocean depths, the diver found her target — a mannequin representing a human body. The exercise was part of a simulated crash recovery mission to test the capabilities of the Deep Sea Expeditionary with No Decompression (DSEND) system, which includes a hardened yet lightweight atmospheric dive suit featuring rotating, detachable joints allowing for greater dexterity, flexibility and maneuverability.

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