CARIBBEAN: PROTEUS, THE UNDERWATER SPACE STATION (Caraibi)
Fabien Cousteau Planning “Underwater” Space Station in the Caribbean.
The “underwater version” of the International Space Station is coming to the Caribbean island of Curaçao
Renowned ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau has announced his plans for PROTEUS, a project that’s being billed as the “world’s most advanced scientific research station and habitat.”
“As our life support system, the Ocean is indispensable to solving the planet’s biggest problems. Challenges created by climate change, rising sea levels, extreme storms and viruses represent a multi-trillion-dollar risk to the global economy,” Cousteau said. Surprisingly, despite the Ocean representing over 99% of our world’s living space, only 5% has been explored to date. PROTEUS, contemplated as the first in a network of underwater habitats, is essential to driving meaningful solutions that protect the future of our planet. The knowledge that will be uncovered underwater will forever change the way generations of humans live up above.”
PROTEUS will be more than four times bigger than any previous underwater habitat; it will include everything from sleeping quarters to labs to a “moon pool.”
Powered by hybrid energy sources including wind, solar and ocean thermal energy, PROTEUS will also have the world’s first-ever underwater greenhouse.
The intent is to build an “effective, comfortable and attractive facility for researchers, and an exciting underwater structure that garners the same passion for ocean exploration as we have for space exploration,” said Yves Behar, the industrial designer who is conceiving the structure.
It’s not the first underwater habitat project for Cousteau, who led a team of five “aquanauts” at a 400-square-foot station in the Florida Keys.
The project continues a trend started by Fabien’s grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who built the first underwater research habitats in 1962.
“We must dare to dream bigger and look to our ocean as part of the solution,” Fabien Cousteau said. “PROTEUS will be integral to giving back to our future generations that which we have taken for granted.”
The project will be built off the coast of Curaçao at a depth of 60 feet.
“We are delighted to be home to PROTEUS,” said Dr Steven Martina, Curaçao’s Minister of Economic Development. “Our incredible Caribbean sea holds immense riches yet to be fully discovered. The economic potential of having the first underwater space station located in Curaçao’s waters is enormous, from job creation to tourism.”