In 1960, the Trieste became the first manned vessel to reach the bottom of Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest known part of the Earth's oceans. After completing her mission, she was acquired by the US Navy in 1958. She was used to photograph the underwater wreck of the submarine USS Thresher (SSN-593) shortly after her sinking. She was acquired by the US Navy in 1958. In 1980, Trieste was installed at the National Museum of the US Navy.
The bathyscaphe Trieste underwent conservation by Terre Mare Conservation, LLC in 2015.