SeaOrbiter research vessel

The SeaOrbiter research vessel designed by French architect Jacques Rougerie, will be a reality after 12 years as a concept and is finally set to begin construction later this year.

Images credit: SeaOrbiter

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The Orbiter will measure 170 feet (51 meters) tall, and only half of the vehicle would stay below the surface, with all sorts of tools and systems for underwater activities, is meant to accommodate a team of 18-22 researchers, who will be able to spend 24 hours a day underwater.

The vessel will be powered by solar, wind, wave power and biofuel. Funding has been obtained for the $52.7 million.

Ariel Fuchs, education and media director of the SeaOrbiter project explains:

“All technical issues are resolved, all the modeling is done, we gathered institutional and industrial support five or six years ago and it’s been a real institutional and financial project for the last two years.”

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source SeaOrbiter

More information from the SeaOrbiter team:

A Human Adventure Dedicated to Men and the Planet

Imagine a silvery ship, drifting with the currents at the very heart of the oceans.

The ocean, 3⁄4 of our planet’s surface, cradle of all living things, also embodies our future. At the dawn of the third millennium, SeaOrbiter announces a new generation of exploration vessels

Its Role:

To encourage dream and give rise to vocations for the new generations in order for them to create their own tools in favor of awakening, sensitization and action of all for the integration of the ocean in our attitudes and behaviors to come.

Its Mission:

To explore the ocean still widely unknown in order to refine knowledge about marine ecosystems, to better understand the influence of oceans on climate notably in the current context of global warming.

Tomorrow, for the new meriens civilization, it will allow long term stays for a large family of explorers, continuous day and night observation of the seemingly endless wealth of marine life forms, permanent and easy access to the undersea world, allowing perfect symbiosis with the aquatic universe…

Educational and Publicity Range

By the nature of its design and the objective of its mission, SeaOrbiter is also an excellent academic tool about the marine environment, its environmental and climatological components address all generations.

Thanks to collected images that accompany the comments of observer- aquanauts, SeaOrbiter will contribute to the awakening of minds to what is at stake in the conservation and the responsible use of the marine environment. Indeed, thanks to the technologies of numerical imaging it will furnish a resource that will favour a sensitive, even coalescing relationship, for the public with the marine environment. This is by no means a small stake for the latter.

Ecological and Planetary Range

Drifting according to the great marine currents, SeaOrbiter has its place in all the great oceans and in all the most important interior seas.

Being linked with an observation satellite network, the SeaOrbiters of tomorrow will permit the continuous observation of the biggest climatic phenomena and the setting up of a preventive system reducing the risks run by the populations living on the coast (i.e. 70% of the world populations).

The Exploratory Missions

The SeaOrbiter project has brought together men and women who share a common dream in terms of the progress of mankind and his environment: the quest for knowledge and experimentation that has always helped humanity to develop from its origins, to extend its horizons and push its limits ever further.

Just as space exploration undeniably transformed mankind’s perspective of planet Earth, it is certain that a better understanding of our planet’s oceans through the study of the undersea depths of the marine world represents one of the major challenges of the 21st century.

Despite the fact that the world’s oceans cover no less than 70% of the surface of our planet, we know very little about these vast expanses of water. However we do know that they play a crucial role in our everyday lives and in our future: the major currents regulate our climate, they provide us with an ever greater source of food thanks to the development of aquaculture, the molecules that we continue to discover in the oceans contribute to healing our illnesses and will most likely continue to do so far into the future, and what’s more important the new life forms that we discover in the depths call into question our pre-established ideas…

The SeaOrbiter project is based on an innovative technological approach that has resulted in a new generation of ocean exploration vessels, a human adventure in the spirit of the great multidisciplinary explorations of past centuries. It will allow its crew members to benefit from an overall vision of the underwater world and will allow them to actually observe, listen and live 24h a day and during long terms periods, under the sea.

SeaOrbiter is a unique vessel whose technology allows mankind to live at the heart of the world’s oceans, to drift within the major oceanic currents, to carry out observational studies and enjoy a direct and permanent access to the marine environment. In that sense, SeaOrbiter is truly a unique mean of communication, of sensitization and of education upon the theme of the oceans.