Underwater ‘Space Station’ Could Revolutionize Ocean Research

By: | July 25th, 2020

Image courtesy Fabien Cousteau OLC

Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, wants to build the world’s largest underwater research station and habitat-Proteus.

With the help of industrial designer Yves Béhar, Cousteau is going to build a 4,000-square-foot facility. Proteus will sit at the depth of 60 feet (18 meters) in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Curacao.

Proteus will allow discoveries in an inhospitable environment. It will be like an ocean-station type of International Space Station (ISS).

Swiss architect Yves Behar described the structure as “the ocean’s equivalent to the International Space Station.”

In Proteus, a team of up to 12 scientists is expected to research on the ocean floor. With facilities that range from research labs to a built-in greenhouse, researchers will make discoveries in an inhospitable environment.

Behar said, “The research station will enable the discovery of new species of marine life, create a better understanding of how climate change affects the ocean, and allow for the testing of advanced technologies for green power, aquaculture, and robotic exploration,”

Power will be generated from wind, thermal and solar energy. At present this project is in the concept stage. If everything goes as per plan, Proteus will be installed in three years.

Cousteau said, “Ocean exploration is 1,000 times more important than space exploration for — selfishly — our survival, for our trajectory into the future,” “It’s our life support system. It is the very reason why we exist in the first place.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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