The World's Deepest Pool Would Help Train Astronauts

Illustration for article titled The Worlds Deepest Pool Would Help Train Astronauts

Here’s a silly confession: I’m irrationally afraid of deep swimming pools. So when I first saw this rendering of what could become the world’s deepest “space pool,” my gut reaction was to turn off my computer and run for the hills. But the logical part of my brain reminded me that this would actually be pretty awesome.

Swimming pools are important training grounds for astronauts and deep sea divers alike, because they simulate the microgravity conditions of both environments. At 50 meters (164 shudder-inducing feet) deep, the space pool now being now being proposed by the University of Essex and development partner Blue Abyss would become the world’s deepest. That title is currently held by a 42 meter (137 foot) deep diving pool in Montegrotto Terme, Italy. NASA’s own 12 meter (40 foot) training pool pales by comparison.

Illustration for article titled The Worlds Deepest Pool Would Help Train Astronauts
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But don’t get too excited yet, divers: The pool is still in the ‘exploratory discussion’ phase, and the university will have to shell out 60 million dollars to make it happen. But Blue Abyss is hoping the project will pay itself off by attracting everything from human spaceflight research programs to environmental scientists, marine physiologists, and commercial diver training programs.

So, there you have it. World’s deepest space pool. I’m not going to touch it with a 50-foot pole, but I wish you a happy, decompression sickness-free time if you decide to take a dip.

[BBC]

Contact the author at maddie.stone@gizmodo.com or follow her on Twitter.


Image via Blue Abyss

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DISCUSSION

denver-is-too-damn-high
Denver is too damn high

I’ve been down that deep on a number of dives. Fun fact: You know that sickening feeling when you look over a cliff? You get the same feeling when you look up and see how far the surface is. Kind of a reverse high anxiety -Only this time there is no stepping onto safe ground. Now control your breathing because you’re burning off a TON more of your tank at that depth. Whee!