SeaOrbiter, the first space station of the sea, is launching a crowd funding campaign on KissKissBankBank to finance the construction of the “Eye” of the vessel, to start in spring 2014.
The Eye of the SeaOrbiter will be 18 meters (59 ft) high above the surface of the sea, with the overall vessel measuring 58 meters (190 ft). It will support the crow’s nest and the suite of communications systems that will allow the team to broadcast their adventures live. Life aboard, explorations, discoveries, and great scientific advancements will all be documented through the Eye’s technological prowess.
Often compared to Star Trek’s Starship USS Enterprise, some of SeaOrbiter’s inner spaces will be pressurized, allowing divers to undertake daily missions over long stretches of time.
Weighing in at approximately 500 tons of recyclable aluminum, the semi-submersible SeaOrbiter will drift silently across the ocean, aided by a small propulsion system, and is designed to have a lifespan of 15 years.
The goal of the crowd funding campaign is to raise about $450,000 in 90 days to finance the construction of the Eye of the SeaOrbiter.
Levels of contributions are:
• €10 euros (about $13): Your name will be posted on the SeaOrbiter website.
• €30 euros (about $40): You will receive a SeaOrbiter sewing patch + your name posted on the website.
• €55 euros (about $74): Your name will be engraved in the Eye of the SeaOrbiter, your name on the website and receive a SeaOrbiter sewing patch
• €15,000 euros (about $20,140): Invitation for two to the Opening of the SeaOrbiter. (excluding travel expenses)
The SeaOrbiter is the culmination of 30 years of innovative research and the work of sea architect Jacques Rougerie, who bases his research and the structures he builds on a bionic architecture inspired by marine forms and a concern for sustainable development.
This visionary architect has built underwater habitats, undersea laboratories, educative sea centers, vessels with see-through hulls, subaquatic museums, and has designed underwater habitats and structures to draw attention on the beauty and fragility of the ocean and its fundamental role in the planet’s balance.
To successfully lead the project, Jacques Rougerie brought on a team of world-class experts in both sea and space including former NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin and French astronaut Jean-Loup Chretien, considered the John Glenn of France, and Jean-Michel Cousteau.
The SeaOrbiter and its exploration capacities recently passed a series of test runs in Europe’s largest ocean simulation center. The first underwater missions are already planned for 2016 in the Mediterranean sea.
“The ocean is the heart of the solar system. It is at once the motor and the lungs of our planet. We must reinstate the ocean as the center of our daily lives,” said Jacques Rougerie. “We want to make way for a new global socio-economic model which integrates the ocean in a responsible, sustainable manner, as the principal source of innovation and solutions. Medicine, nutrition, pharmacology, renewable energy-- the SeaOrbiter can help us improve these for the betterment of our planet.”