On August 31, 1985, the research vessel Knorr patiently searched the bottom of the North Atlantic for the wreck of Titanic, a famous British luxury liner.
More than 12,000 feet below the Knorr, a remote vessel called the Argo trailed along, sending images of the bottom to the Knorr. But after five weeks, the crew had seen little but an endless sheet of mud on the ocean floor.
Aboard the Knorr, American Robert Ballard was co-commander of the search, and he realized with despair that the coming winter would shortly force him to return to port in failure.
Soon after midnight on September 1, Ballard went to bed, exhausted after weeks of fruitless searching.