Earlier this week, Fabien Cousteau announced the “Underwater International Space Station” project, named after the early Greek god of the sea, Proteus. It is designed to be made with non-cutting materials to provide researchers with one of the world’s most advanced underwater research sites and habitats. Fabien, 52, who runs a family business, began diving at the age of four and became a well-known marine conservationist and documentary filmmaker.
The Proteus Underwater Laboratory is three times larger than other designs.
Loz Blain, of New Atlas, said that the last time they met in 2013, Fabien was preparing for a month-long research mission at Aquarius Reef Base, 62 feet below Florida Island Reef.
Dissatisfied with his current home, he has now teamed up with industrial designer Yves Behar to plan the world’s largest underwater laboratory.
Febien’s grandfather also knew about the idea, and Jacques Cousteau’s Conshelf 1, 2 and 3 corresponded to the first underwater habitat, a habitable seabed lab, and a habitat more than 100 meters (330 feet) deep.
Fabien Cousteau, however, didn’t want to stop there, so he introduced a new design of a three-fold spiral double layer. It hopes Proteus will adapt to the changing seabed and be powered entirely by the conversion of wind, solar, and ocean thermal energy from the sea surface.
A series of pods extended from the pearl area can be used as bedrooms, laboratories, medical areas, life support systems, and storage areas. There is also a large hole under the Proteus so that divers can pilot submersibles to dock and in and out.
Proteus is still in the early stages of funding and, if all goes well, is expected to dive 60 feet off the coast of Curacao in the Netherlands in the near future.
Similar to the International Space Station, divers and researchers are able to stay at the Proteus Underwater Research Base for several weeks at a time without having to go through long, frequent decompression processes.