A view of hope for our ocean and our planet – Cousteau’s Mission 31

Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, lived and worked underwater for 31 consecutive days during the project now called Mission 31. This project was a rare opportunity for scientists to become part of the world under our oceans and expand our knowledge of its issues and grandeur.

Unlike land-based scientists who dive below the sea to conduct experiments, Mission 31 aquanauts (astronauts of the ocean) can be under the surface for 12 hours or more. Their bodies become saturated with nitrogen, allowing them to live at the same pressure as the water that surrounds them. A normal diver would take six months to collect the amount of data that the aquanauts can obtain in 31 days.

The Aquarius underwater habitat that ws Fabian Cousteau's home for 31 days

The Aquarius underwater habitat that was Fabian Cousteau’s home for 31 days. Photo by Kip Evans

These aquanauts, along with some pretty cool visitors such as world-renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle and actor and activist, Ian Somerhalder, as well as other advocates for marine conservation. What’s even more remarkable is that the underwater “home” being used, Aquarius, has become an artificial coral reef, home to an abundance of marine life.

But that’s not all Aquarius does. It was hooked into WiFi so it broadcasts live streams to the world up above 24/7.

 Fabien Cousteau and  fellow aquanaut Adam Zenone explore the ocean during Mission 31. Photo credit Kip Evans

Fabien Cousteau and fellow aquanaut Adam Zenone explore the ocean during Mission 31. Photo credit Kip Evans

Too bad the expedition ended July 2nd. Wouldn’t it be something to be able to visit this amazing underwater habitat? Or at least tune into its live feed to check what’s going on. Hopefully the data the scientists collected will help in our understanding of the critical issues being faced by our worlds oceans and marine life. The more we know and understand about the important role our oceans play in our lives, the more hope there is that we can reverse the damage we humans have caused there. One can at least hope so.

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