It’s rare that I take to any degree of advocacy for others’ projects – not because they aren’t worth supporting, but rather in the competitive little world we live in, it just gets harder and harder to stand out on your own, let alone when spreading the attention thin.
In this case however, ‘Classroom Under the Sea‘ – the forthcoming 72 day mission at Jules Undersea Lab in the Florida Keys – I think there are exciting things to talk about; particularly given that this ‘life in the sea’ program comes on the heals of Cousteau’s Mission 31.
Among the many elements I like about the project are that it is rather grassroots, and coming from genuine and humble beginnings. I also like the scope for potential impact. While surely not ‘inexpensive’ per se, the project is most certainly less costly than Mission 31, and is demonstrating a stay of more than 2x’s the mission duration. I am never one for ‘breaking records’, but if successful, this demonstrates something very critical in my book – the ability to live/work underwater for a very extended duration, and in a cost effective way. Also interesting is that Jules’ uses some very dated technology – a successful mission now, could mean industry positioning for a more substantial overhaul into the 21st century. That would give undersea habitation a breath of fresh air. I’m still skeptical of the general paradigm of topside infrastructure and connectivity which means relative permanence – at least for the near to mid term in undersea habitation – but in my opinion Jules potentially has a better leg to stand on than other habitats in the area.
It’s a direction worth considering, and a direction worth investing in – undersea real estate may be the last place we have to go one of these days. Educating the next generation that there is an entirely new frontier out there that we so very infrequently inhabit couldn’t come at a better time. So, kudos to Jessica and Bruce for opening up what remains a very new and unexplored watery world.
I’ll circulate project updates as I have them.
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