ENTERING AQUARIUS - Undersea Laboratory Tour

Uploaded by OneWorldOneOcean on 16.07.2012

Today, our boat headed out to the Aquarius Reef Base where the aquanauts will live, work,
eat, and sleep on the ocean floor for the next 7 days. I'm a technology and oceans reporter
and when I heard that Aquarius was having it's last scheduled mission, I had to check
it out for myself.
My dive buddies were Marc Ostrick, from One World One Ocean, and Fabien Cousteau, the
grandson of Jacques Cousteau.
Fabien Cousteau is visiting Aquarius because his grandfather created the first underwater
habitats 50 years ago.
We were the first to visit the aquanauts and get a tour of the habitat as they moved into
their new home.
Its moving in day, 20,000 millimeters under the sea; one of the coolest pieces of real
estate on the planet. We just got here a few minutes ago and now we're moving in. You can
see there's lots of action in the bunkroom.
There's a lot going on. There's a lot of pots coming down right now with all of the electronics
and I'm just eating a cracker. There's actually wireless internet access, so, we're underwater
and there's wireless internet access. You can surf the web.
We've also got a million dollar view out here. It's a prime piece of real estate. We eat
our meals here. It's just a wonderful place to take in the predator show at night but
most of the time we're actually outside. That's the whole purpose of this underwater space
station is not be in it but to be out on the reef doing our experiments and studying this
wonderful coral reef.
This is my third experience here and I hope not my last. It's like a dream come true.
Its what little kids dream about and, here we are, we can be little kids realizing our dreams.
It was a really unique experience interviewing Sylvia Earle in Aquarius. She's lived underwater
nine times before this and I think that makes her the most experienced of any aquanaut around.
These are all valves that control the air around the habitat. These are all switches,
almost like a breaker in your house. You do not want to hit that red button right there.
You don't want to hit that button. Right here, as you can see, that's actually the live webcam
going out to the Internet. Over here, we have the galley. We have our sink. We've got hot
water, a microwave. Somebody was making Mac n' Cheese there. Up here, we have a lot of food.
Yummy M&Ms. That's not a place for M&Ms but they are very, very good.
We've learned how to take showers and keep the habitat nice and dry, you know, where
to hang our towels. Aquanaut etiquette.
These doors all have O-ring seals. These are all sealing surfaces. We can actually close
these doors and pressurize the inside cabin to a different pressure. This is where we'll
decompress at the end of the mission. We'll bring the inside pressure here all the way
up to sea level with the doors shut and then we'll do a very short dive to the surface.
Brian, we're going to have to wrap it up. 1 minute.
The aquanauts can be down there for 7 days straight because they are saturating but since
we are just scuba divers, we've only got an hour in the lab and, for that hour you have,
it goes by so quick. Before you know it, it's just time to leave.
Sylvia and the other aquanauts were gracious hosts and I look forward to visiting them again.