SeaOrbiter construction to begin October 2012

French architect Jacques Rougerie has spent over a decade trying to launch the idea the SeaOrbiter – a unique live-aboard, ocean-going vessel – part submarine, part research ship. The concept recently completed its industrial design phase, and construction is supposed to begin in October of 2012.

SeaOrbiter is currently a centerpiece for France’s pavilion at Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea.

SeaOrbiter is planned to be 58 meters (63 yards) high – a bit more than half the length of an American football field. The anticipated cost: around US$52.7 million.

According to CNN, famed oceanographer Sylvia Earle is a vocal supporter of the SeaOrbiter project. Other supporters include former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and astronaut Jean-Loup Chretien. Plus SeaOrbiter has the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) to help develop its necessary technologies and onboard designs.

The crew will utilize oceanographic observational and sonic equipment, plus links to Earth-orbiting satellites. The goal is real-time monitoring of the ocean, and its creatures.

GizMag reported SeaOrbiter’s designer, architect Jacques Rougerie, as saying:

This vertical vessel drifts in the currents hosting 18 oceanauts who will observe the life of the oceans on a permanent basis. Marine life will naturally aggregate … under its hull.

Bottom line: SeaOrbiter – part submarine, part research ship – recently completed its industrial design phase. Construction is slated to begin in October of 2012. A model of SeaOrbiter is currently on display in the French pavilion at Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea.

Sources: GizMag via CNN

June 26, 2012

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