The Hughes Glomar Explorer was designed to complete the mission of lifting a 2,000-ton Soviet submarine 17,000 feet from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
The story of the more than six years intervening is the story of Project AZORIAN, that is, the story of the MV Hughes Glomar Explorer. This endeavor ranks at the forefront of imaginative and bold operations. It combines immense size and scope, advancements with technology, complex engineering and testing, and a demanding mission scenario in an unforgiving marine environment.
While some aspects of the CIA mission remain Top Secret, recently declassified documents allow this story to be told from its early beginnings with the loss of the submarine, until the final days when the recovery ship sailed on her last voyage. It also includes the development, planning, security, engineering, and execution of the program, with the thoughts and ideas surrounding it.