How NASA Uses the Ocean to Train Astronauts for its Most Dangerous…

The astronauts are wearing white suits with American flags and mission patches on them. They're aware but unworried about the hostile environment inches away from their noses. They'd be dead in seconds if it were not for their air supply. As they bound nimbly along in a state of near-weightlessness, all each… » 7/19/12 11:00am 7/19/12 11:00am

There Is No Such Thing as Normal When You Live at the Bottom of the Sea

The Aquanauts had killed the power and strapped on their emergency air masks. Someone smelled burning. In a rich-oxygen environment like Aquarius, fires can spread with ferocity; any hint of combustion is taken with utter seriousness. The air wasn't circulating as it was supposed to, and, up above, the life support… » 7/18/12 5:00pm 7/18/12 5:00pm

How You Connect an Underwater Outpost to the Rest of the World


You think resetting your router or calling the cable company when your Internet goes out is a pain in the ass? When the network sputtered at Aquarius undersea research base, Dominic Landucci had to dive down with a spool burial-grade cat-5 cable and punch it through the side of the lab without flooding the entire… » 7/18/12 11:20am 7/18/12 11:20am

Searching for the Ocean's Secrets From the Last Undersea Base

Two days ago, in the ocean a few miles off Key Largo Florida, I watched a woman dive 20 feet down to a sandy bottom. Conch skittered across sea floor while fish pecked at a nearby reef. A Barracuda snuck up behind me and glittered as it passed by. Then, an odd thing happened. The woman on the sea floor stopped… » 7/13/12 2:00pm 7/13/12 2:00pm