Your probably scratching your head wondering why a ship needs to flip onto its end like this....WHY? Well, because the ocean is known for not being calm all the time and tossing ships around in its rough waters, the FLIP has an advantage with its vertical alignment. (watch video below)
After being towed to its target site in a horizontal, normal ship position, ballast tanks begin taking on water--and the ship pivots 90 degrees, sending the bow some 300 feet below the surface, while the tail end rides above the waves... the FLIP's unique alignment allows it to "anchor" itself in the calm waters below the surface, making for an exceptionally stable (and portable) platform.
I suppose this makes sense... I just wonder what kind of research goes on the FLIP Ship that requires such a stable platform oppose to a regular research vessel? hhhmmmm....