Fabien Cousteau’s desire is to establish an equivalent facility for underwater research as NASA is preparing to launch three crew members of Expedition 63 some 250 miles to the International Space Station on a Soyuz spaceflight.
Named after the prophetic sea-god, Proteus, the plan is for the sea station is to sit 60 feet below the ocean surface near Curacao. Located in a highly biodiverse, marine-protected part of the Caribbean, Proteus is set to be the largest underwater research habitat ever created.
Mankind has dreamt of living under the waves since the 1960s. On the seafloor, some ecosystems were even created, but our yearning for space exploration left them abandoned. The 400-square-foot Aquarius, in the Florida Keys, which Costeau lived in with a team of aquanauts for 31 days in 2014, is actually the only underwater habitat that currently exists.
Proteus, a two-story circular building of 4,000 square feet grounded on stilts on the ocean floor, contains labs, personal quarters, medical bays and a moon pool where divers can reach the ocean floor. The structure will also feature the first underwater greenhouse for growing food, as well as a video production facility, powered by wind and solar power and ocean thermal energy conversion. Twelve people will be able to live in Proteus for months. The cost is $135 million.
Fabien Cousteau is an aquanaut, ocean conservationist, and documentary filmmaker born on October 2, 1967. Fabien spent his early years on the ships of his grandfather, the Calypso and Alcyone, learning how to scuba dive on his fourth birthday. Fabien was an Explorer-at-Large for National Geographic from 2000-2002 and worked on a TV special named “Attack of the Mystery Shark” to alter public conceptions of sharks. Then he created the documentary “Mind of a Demon” in 2003-2006 that aired on CBS. Fabien built a 14-foot, 1,200-pound, lifelike shark submarine named “Troy” with the aid of a large crew that allowed him to immerse himself within the world of sharks.
Fabien has been described as “dashing” a “hunk”, and filled with showmanship. In 2002, he was selected by People magazine as the “sexiest explorer”.
Photo Credit, Fabien Cousteau: Carly Underwater
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