A journey to Aquarius—the last underwater research lab

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14 Responses to “A journey to Aquarius—the last underwater research lab”

  1. Derek Prowse says:

    The last of it’s breed, and the current mission is supposedly the last.  I worked there for a year, and consider it the most exciting, demanding, and inspiring time of my life.    The crew at the helm these days is a hell of a bunch, and it’s damned disappointing that the program is threatened.  It’s a space station for the sea! 

    There are a number of Astronauts and A-Candidates that cycled through the habitat as part of NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) – We called them Aquastronauts..

    Ask /them/ which locale, sea vs space, is a crueler mistress.

    • cliffr says:

      Wow, kind of cool. How many Aquanauts are Boing Boing readers? I was a habitat technician for this first mission of this cycle with Sylvia Earle back in 1999.

      Worth mentioning the Aquarius is trying to keep going with donations. If you think we need to continue research in the ocean, support them.

      http://www.aquariusreefbase.org/

  2. aeroplane says:

    I like to imagine that living there would be something like this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWSqUON_hvI

  3. sharon_marsh says:

    Key Largo, not Key West.

  4. johnphantom says:

    Awesome. I wonder how they get things like laptops down there…

    • Derek Prowse says:

      They have a couple of larger pots reclaimed from industrial pressurized painting equipment.   Getting them down there is easy..  finding out which of them have hard drives that will seize up at ‘depth’ is, er, less so.

      Running pots up and down was a fun task – in that you got to exact your ‘transport fee’ on whatever food they had requested.

  5. Henry Pootel says:

    Not Penny’s boat!

  6. Warren_Terra says:

    I love the line about the WiFi network.

  7. Katie Lacy says:

    Did they find a tweaked out Jonny Quest in there?  http://youtu.be/t25OiSe_Od8

  8. BlooSee says:

    We need more research centers like this, not less or none at all. Research like this is critical to solving our ocean pollutions and overfishing problems. Just look at the reef they are located off of: http://bloosee.com/r/iFDShc

  9. gypsyspacemuffin says:

    This is one of the most incredible things I have ever heard…how has such a beautiful research facility been kept out of public attention like this? Deep sea labs? Aquastronauts?! For me, this is like learning that something conjured up from the adventure tales of my childhood has, in fact, been true for decades. 

    Just in time to realize it’s facing extinction…

    • Nadreck says:

      I blame the UFO cults.  It’s impossible to Google “Undersea Base” or “Undersea Lab” without your first million hits being about the Alien “Greys’” undersea bases.  I had a friend who tried to do actual, serious research on undersea bases and pretty much had to do it off-line.

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