So much of what the oceans contain is still unknown to us today and considering they make up 80% of our planet, it’s a lot! That’s all about to start changing once The SeaOrbiter will tower the water – the first vertical ship in the world to study the pelagic ecosystem, plankton biodiversity, and fish stocks.
With two-thirds of its 170 feet (or 51m) designed by Jacques Rougerie underwater, the building has come a long way before finally gaining construction approval for October this year. To be fit for the 2013 launch, the project has had to overcome technical and modelling issues on the one hand and institutional and financial obstacles on the other.
However, the team managed to persuade everybody for the last 5 years that the $52.7 million in funding will be well spent: scientists are set to live for quite some time in this lab in order to study marine biology, oceanography and climate issues. And this is important because the ocean retains around a quarter of all carbon emissions and plays a big role in counteracting global warming.
Even though the construction is set to be completely self-reliable through wind, solar and wave energy, the European defense and space systems conglomerate (EADS) is setting up an alternative power source in the representative of a biofuel. Former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and the European Space Agency are also among the project’s supporters. This announces to be quite an exciting project to watch, especially since the world has never seen anything like it before!