The SeaSpace Exploration & Research Society, a non-profit exploration and research organization, has announced Project Poseidon, a proposed 100-day undersea exploration and research expedition at Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s only undersea laboratory dedicated to science and education. If successful, Project Poseidon will surpass the world record for the longest mission conducted from an undersea habitat.
Project Poseidon has two main objectives: to conduct cross-disciplinary research encompassing multiple complementary fields of study, and to effectively communicate and disseminate the mission’s scientific findings through a comprehensive education and public outreach program. Expedition research activities will include the fields of ocean science, human health and performance, engineering, telemedicine, geospatial imaging, and space-analogue research. The proposed research will be conducted in collaboration with academic, government, and commercial and private industry partners and collaborators.
Since space exploration began, scientists have used space-analogue environments and simulations to conduct relevant environmental research to help humans adapt to the extreme conditions of space. Underwater habitats, including the Aquarius Reef Base, are used by agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as high-fidelity space-analogue environments, providing scientists with a robust platform for conducting research that’s invaluable to space-flight programs. The Project Poseidon mission will add to that body of knowledge with research in the areas of human health, performance, and physiology in a confined space, extreme space-analogue environment.
“The vision behind Project Poseidon is to facilitate a greater understanding of the link and synergy that exists between sea and space, and to use the mission as a catalyst to strengthen that connection, to educate not only the public, but also the policymakers that there is a need for human exploration of the sea just as there is for space,” says Jamie Guined, Project Poseidon’s aquanaut crew commander.
To encourage public interest and involvement in the mission, Project Poseidon includes two novel outreach programs designed to allow professionals, students and educators to join the Project Poseidon crew as either a visiting “Scientist in the Sea” or “Mission Ambassador.” Candidates for these two programs will be identified through a comprehensive application and selection process administered by the SeaSpace Exploration & Research Society and its mission partners. Those interested in joining the Project Poseidon team have until October 23, 2015 to submit their application, found on the Society’s website, for a limited number of available positions ranging from mission support to aquanaut team.
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