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Hercules is able to operate freely like Little Hercules, but it can do most of its excavation work while anchored securely to a "gantry" - a metal frame that straddles the area to be excavated. This gives Hercules a fixed base to operate from, without the vehicle having to drop right down onto the bottom, which would damage the site.
Hercules has "manipulators," mechanical arms that can lift, push, grab and generally do the work involved in excavation. A variety of tools are used; particularly water jets and suction pipes to clear the mud away.
|The mission of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., which includes Mystic Aquarium, Ocean Exploration Center and JASON Learning, is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.|
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