17th century shipwreck to be freeze-dried, rebuilt

Associated Press
In this Aug. 8, 2012, photo ice collects on condensers inside a giant freeze dryer at the Texas A&M University Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation in Bryan, Texas.  The freeze-dryer is being used to remove moisture from the wreckage of a 17th-century French ship used by famed explorer La Salle and sank more than 300 years ago off the Texas coast. The ice comes from water removed from the timber of the disassembled shipwreck that's being subjected to months of controlled environment under temperatures reaching 60 below zero. The freeze-dried wood will be used in reconstruction of the nearly 60-foot ship at a state history museum in Austin. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)

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The 17th-century French ship La Belle has spent months inside a 40-foot-long, 8-feet-wide freeze dryer being used to remove moisture from the wreckage of the ship. The ship was used famed explorer La Salle, and sank more than 300 years ago off the Texas coast. Researchers plan to rebuild the 54 ½-foot vessel, which will become the centerpiece of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas.

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