Living underwater has long been a fantasy for humankind. From various legends such as mermaids, to the likes of folklore and HG Wells, everybody has explored that option in our minds. However, this week marks the 50th anniversary of a monumental legacy left by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who is credited with creating the first ocean floor habitat for humans, and leading a team of ocean explorers on the first attempt to live and work underwater. They stayed down there for 30 days, aboard the Conshelf Two.
50 years on his grandson, Fabien Cousteau seeks to break new ground, and extend the legacy longer, by one full day and by 30 more feet of saturation. The mission is designed to explore the adventure, risk, and most of all the enigma that lies on our ocean floors. Partnered by Florida International University and NorthEastern Universy, who will collaborate to study climate change and related challenges of ocean pollution and decline of species. More so, the team are also shooting short and long format documentaries for Mission 31.
So when does all this happen? Unfortunately I have been a bit slow due to personal circumstances, but the mission has already begin last Sunday (1st of June), and what’s more, you can already see a live stream below:
Of course, the stream comes directly from the Mission 31 website, and can be watched in detail by clicking the link below:
The main page shows the main feed, and outside and inside views of the Aquarius, which is the world’s only underwater marine laboratory, operated by FIU. In fact, right this moment, I can see some magic happening!
Located 63 feet below the surface near Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, it measures 43 by 20 by 16.5 feet, and has six bunk beds, hot water, mini kitchen with microwave and refrigerator, air conditioning and the usual gizmos that connect it to the shore.
So, where does Microsoft come in all of this? Mission 31 is the longest running privately funded underwater endeavour, and Microsoft’s Lumia are the main sponsors. Not only are they providing kit to the divers such as Lumia 1520, Lumia 1020, etc, but also supporting the cause. In fact, in honour of this mission, they even sent us a Lumia 1520, which I shall be uploading the review of, soon!
Most of all, what is the importance? Well, physiological and psychological effects of living long term without sun at high pressure will be examined. It also creates awareness for the importance of ocean exploration, and access to tools and technology that is needed in case of emergency ocean disasters, such as oil spills or flight 370.
You can find out all about Mission 31 by using the following links: