Introduction

The paper "Glomar Challenger - Deep Sea Drilling From Texas To Dakar" consists of a recently completed documentary film covering project background, and design construction and operation of the Glomar Challenger during the initial legs of the Deep Sea Drilling Project.

The following notes are intended simply for the viewers information and possible future reference. The Deep Sea Drilling Project is a portion of this Government's Ocean Sediment Coring Program, directed towards obtaining deep sea cores for scientific analysis throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins. The Project is an outgrowth of a proposal initially prepared by the JOIDES Group. Participants of JOIDES include Scripps Institution of Oceanography (currently Manager of the Deep Sea Drilling Project), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Lamont Geological Observatory, The Institute of Marine Science and, a current addition, the University of Washington. The program is funded and administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the U. S. Government.

Initial drilling operations commenced on August 12, 1968 in the Gulf of Mexico, and are currently being carried out in the Caribbean prior to the start of operations in the Pacific Ocean in April, 1969. A summary of the highlights of the program to date (March, 1969) include the following:

  • Number of locations occupied to date: 28

  • Number of holes drilled to date: 49

  • Maximum water depth drilled to date: 18,157 ft.

  • Minimum water depth drilled to date: 6,355 ft.

  • Maximum penetration into sea floor: (Hole 9A) 2, 759 ft.

  • Maximum length of drill string: (Hole 28) 19,483 ft.

  • Principal dimensions and characteristics of the Glomar Challenger are as follows:

  • Length Over All: 402 ft.

  • Beam: 65 ft.

  • Molded Depth: 26 ft. 9 in.

  • Designed Draft: 20 ft.

  • Designed Displacement: 10,500 long tons

  • Dynamic Positioning System

a. Twin main screws: 2250 hp per shaft (underway propulsion)
  • 1500 hp per shaft (dynamic positioning)

  • Fixed thrusters: 4 fixed thrusters @ 850 hp each (dynamic positioning)

The Glomar Challenger is provided with a fully automatic position sensing and control system capable of maintaining the ship in position to an accuracy of ± 200 ft. in a 45 knot head wind combined with a 1 1/2 knot beam current.

The performance of the Glomar Challenger to date has been extremely satisfactory, and this significant step forward in advanced offshore drilling technology represents a remarkable achievement on the part of the offshore drilling industry.

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