The only undersea lab resurfaces
Once upon a time (in the mid 90s) a lab was created. It was a place unlike any other, where scientists could live and word beneath the ocean's waves for weeks at a time. Marine biologists and NASA astronauts made use of the place's unique capabilities. That place was called the Aquarius Reef Base, and for quite a while it's been left to rust.
Thankfully, the base has gotten a reprieve. Aquarius lives on, thanks in large part to its new owners and operators at Florida International University. One such individual is Kenneth G. Furton, Dean of Arts and Sciences. He, among many others, is very excited to see what will come from his newly piece of submerged real estate.
"Our team has worked very hard over the past year to save Aquarius because we know the great work that has been done here, and we believe in the reef base's potential as a source of new scientific understanding and student discovery."
The very first team allowed back into the belly of the Aquarius was made up of NASA's best and brightest. Their training mission, "Sea Test II," was completed just this Wednesday. Thanks to the special diving capabilities of the Aquarius Reef Base, these NASA trainees were capable of sustaining nine hours of daily underwater exercises without fear of injury from repeated depressurization. Aquarius keeps the teams housed within its walls in a pressurized environment the entire time they are on-site. The only time team members are fully decompressed is upon leaving Aquarius at the end of their stay. Simply knowing that science has such a unique place to thrive makes the future seem all the brighter.