Proteus Ocean Group in development of first-of-its-kind underwater research station

Research underwater is always an expedition that could bear one of two possible outcomes;

  1. The possible discovery of new species or previously uncharted areas
  2. The confirmation that life underwater has no future for live above the water

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and developers may have a different answer with their proposed new “first of its kind” research laboratory, which aims to expand the opportunities to help humans learn more about the ocean.

According a recent update, Proteus Ocean Group – co-founded by Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of the late ocean exploration pioneer Jacques Cousteau – is developing an “underwater space station of the ocean”.

The group plans to build the station nearly 60 feet deep off the coast of Curacao in the Caribbean by 2026.

NOAA and the ocean group announced in May they will partner to identify research opportunities as the plan to build the station move forward.

According to the developers, the facility would give scientists and public a “rare window on life under the ocean”.

“On Proteus we will have unbridled access to the ocean 24/7, making possible long-term studies with continuous human observation and and experimentation,” said Cousteau.

“With NOAA’s collaboration, the discoveries we can make – in relation to climate refugia, super corals, life-saving drugs, micro environmental data tied to climate events and many others – will be truly groundbreaking.”

“This partnership has the potential to greatly expand our capabilities in studying the ocean,” said Jeremy Weirich, the director of NOAA Ocean Exploration.

“By living underwater for extended periods in this new ocean laboratory, we’ll be able to unlock the ocean’s mysteries so that we can better manage, sustainably use, protect and appreciate its resources.”

Under the partnership, NOAA and the ocean group may undertake joint expeditions, exchange personnel and share methods of operation related to missions to study the ocean environment, NOAA said.

Specifications of the underwater station:

  • The station will include an observatory and a laboratory
  • Aquanauts will live aboard and work under the ocean
  • Has the capacity to accommodate up to 12 people
  • The station allows private citizens to live underwater for “periods of time”
  • Includes a video production facility that could live-stream
  • Additional modules can be added to the station later

While such a station is being developed abroad, the potentiality that such station would benefit the Maldives, in marine research and various similar areas, is without any doubt.

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