The ocean is a vastly unexplored world that is all around us, and as technology continues to be refined, we frequently discover more oddities and fascinating creatures from its depths. Such research attempts are soon going to have a massive boon in the form of an ocean-based research laboratory called the SeaOrbiter, which will be the first vessel of its kind that facilitates long-term on board habitation.
The SeaOrbiter, which is essentially a giant spaceship that existences partly underwater, is the work of Jacques Rougerie, a sea architect, and various experts, among them being the former NASA head Daniel Goldin. The project will cost $43 million, and will result in a vessel that is basically the ISS of the ocean, able to hold up to 22 researchers and crew members initially.
When completed, the SeaOrbiter will sit 100 feet under the water and extend 90 feet above the water, and will harvest renewable energy from wind, sun, and waves. The first mission will be to Monaco, though that will have to wait for construction to finish. Part of the funds are being raised through crowdfunding, and the hope is to start building the vessel next spring in France.
Said Rougerie in a message to the folks at Fast Company: "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: Fast Company