Arguably the feat that still defines Alvin's legacy, the discovery of the wreckage of the Titanic in 1986 showcased the technological capacities of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and even put Alvin on the cover of TIME. Although Alvin is a manned vehicle, capable of bringing three people down to a depth of 15,000 feet, the tangled wreckage was too dangerous for Alvin to enter. That's where the ROV came in.
The shipwreck's resting place--about 12,500 feet deep off the eastern coast of the United States--was originally identified by a 1985 expedition led by the oceanographer Robert Ballard, and in July 1986 he and his colleagues went back for a closer look. Alvin made 12 dives while exploring the wreck, deploying Jason Jr., a small ROV built for the occasion, to snap close-up shots and to enter the sunken ship itself.