In 1963, famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and a team of aquanauts lived undersea for 30 days in the Conshelf underwater living experiment. Now, his grandson is looking to beat that long-held record by staying below the surface for 31 days.
On Nov. 12, Fabian Cousteau and six fellow aquanauts will use the Aquarius Reef Base as a launching pad to explore the neighboring coral reef.
"The six of us will be stuffed into a 9 by 40 foot science lab," he explains in an introductory video on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.
The 81-ton underwater lab is located 63 feet below the surface at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The longest anyone has lived in Aquarius is 14 days, but it is more common for researchers, and NASA astronauts in training, to stay there for 10 days.
"Our team will test new technologies; conduct research on the effects of climate change on corals, sponges and sea life, map the seafloor, and study the physiological and psychological impacts of long-term submerging such as living in a high-pressure environment as well as living without sun exposure for prolonged periods," Cousteau wrote in the mission's description.
The mission will cost more than $1 million. Cousteau is seeking to raise at least 10 percent of that on Indiegogo in order to create an educational component of the exploration. The crowdsourced funding will allow the aquanauts to share their findings in real time and link up with classrooms around the world.
"The knowledge we gain and discoveries we make and share in real time will be worth every penny," he said.