Built in 1986, the Aquarius Reef Base is one of the last remaining underwater stations dedicated to scientific research. Operated by the National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), the base is located at the heart of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, where it has been used to conduct research on coral reef ecosystems for many years.
On July 16, the base will host a team of researchers and scientists possibly for the last time. Dubbed Mission Aquarius, this team will be led by the legendary Sylvia Earl and will live aboard the station for six days as they conduct research on the nearby Conch Reef. You’ll be able to follow that expedition and watch live streaming from the Aquarius itself, on the team’s website. The video below includes more information on the base and it’s purpose over the past 25+ years.
And for those wonder, the reason this could be the final mission to the reef base is because it has become the victim of budget cuts. It seems NASA isn’t the only organization dedicated to exploration that has had to tighten its belt. We need to get this economy going again so we can pay for more programs like this one.
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