Recall the SeaOrbiter we detailed back in November? It has hit its crowdfunding goal of about $444,700 USD, and as such is destined to set sail for ocean parts unknown. With the vessel, voids and deficits in oceanic research will be filled, and researchers will have an awesome aquatic research center through which to study.
As you can see in the image above, the vessel is largely below water, featuring many decks and platforms, as well as a vertical wind turbine and solar panels to give it power. Called the ISS of the ocean by some, the vessel is outfitted with laboratories, wet labs, a diving room, and more.
That only touches on all the fun aspects of the vessel -- it functions as a space simulator and a communications hub, as well -- and eventually it will be home to 18 to 22 people, able to sustain them for long periods of time out in remote areas of the little-explored ocean. Launch could happen as soon as 2016.
The SeaOrbiter is the work of Jacques Rougerie, who spoke about it to the folks at Fast Company a few months ago: "The SeaOrbiter is the synthesis of everything that we have been able to do at sea: it is at the same time a moving habitat and a dynamic launching point for submarine research and exploration. It will not replace oceanographic boats or exploratory submarines. Instead, it’s another way to explore and better comprehend the underwater universe and bring human life at sea to another level on a 24/7 basis and over long periods."
SOURCE: Factor Tech