Saturday, March 31, 2012

VOR hit by big waves - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12

Amazing footage of Volvo Ocean Race competitor Team Telefónica being slammed by two monster waves as they blast through the Southern Ocean in over 40 knots of wind on Leg 5 from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí in Brazil .

The footage, shot from one of the four fixed cameras on the boat, shows the entire on deck crew -- including the helmsman -- twice knocked off their feet by the impact of the up to 10 metre waves.

Team Telefónica felt the full force of the Southern Ocean earlier today when they were slammed by two monster waves in over 40 knots of wind on their way to Cape Horn on Leg 5.

Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race
Both incidents were captured by Telefónica Media Crew Member (MCM) Diego Fructuoso on one of the boat’s four fixed video cameras.

The amazing footage shot from the stern camera shows the entire on-deck crew -- including the helmsman -- twice knocked off their feet by the force of the up- to-10-metre waves.

Seconds before the first wave hits, helmsman Jordi Calafat can be seen urgently trying to steer the boat away from the impact before a wall of water slams into the boat engulfing the cockpit and leaving Calafat swinging in mid-air as the boat lurches out of control.

Later, when the second wave hits, Pablo Arrarte is thrown off the wheel and ends up steering on his knees as his shocked crewmates struggle back to their feet.

Remarkably, despite being thrown to the deck by the force of the waves, on both occasions the sailors regained their composure almost instantaneously to get the boat back under control in a matter of seconds.

Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race Big waves and nose diving onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Looking to the future: mapping the world’s oceans

It’s impossible to predict the future, but with the latest advancements in technology and an ever-changing world the power is in our hands.
That was the focus at the first goFred X conference held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Dr. Mark Masry, CARIS’ Research and Development Manager, was at the conference presenting about the future of mapping the world’s oceans.
“We know more about space than we do the deep sea,” said Dr. Masry to more than 500 technology enthusiast and students.

Dr. Masry went on to share the history of hydrography with the audience showing how far we’ve come since the first pioneers.
“We now have access to a wealth of information from places that we’ve never had any access to before,” said Dr. Masry.
“With the increase of sensor bandwidths, sensors that everyone can use, the use of autonomous vehicles, easier access to the internet, and distributed processing we are in a position to see the world in ways that were previously never possible.”

The conference was a great opportunity for students – who shape our future – to see what technologies currently exist and learn how innovations can change the world.

Jeff Bezos plans to recover Apollo 11 engines from Atlantic seabed

Breathtaking ultra high resolution photos of mankind's historic first steps on the Moon...
Apollo 11 on the lunar Sea of Tranquility.

From TheGuardian

For more than four decades, the powerful engines that helped take the Apollo 11 mission to the moon have rested in the Atlantic.
Now Amazon CEO and space enthusiast Jeff Bezos wants to raise at least one of them to the surface.

An undersea expedition spearheaded by Bezos used sonar to find what he says are the F-1 engines located 4,270 metres (14,000ft) below the ocean surface.
Bezos said on his blog he is drawing up plans to recover the sunken engines, part of the Saturn V rocket that launched Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their moon mission.

Engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center install the F-1 engines on the S-IC stage thrust structure at the S-IC static test stand.
Engines are installed on the stage after it has been placed in the test stand.
Five F-1 engines, each weighing 10 tons, gave the booster a total thrust of 7,500,000 pounds, roughly equivalent to 160 million horsepower.

(source NASA)

The five engines dropped into the sea as planned minutes after liftoff in 1969. (video)
Four days later, Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon.
"We don't know yet what condition these engines might be in," he wrote.
"They hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in salt water for more than 40 years. On the other hand, they're made of tough stuff, so we'll see."

Apollo 11 Earthrise

Bezos acknowledged the engines were the property of Nasa, but said he hoped they will be displayed in museums.
Nasa expressed excitement about the find.
The space agency said it had not been formally contacted by Bezos and was waiting for further information.

"There has always been great interest in artefacts from the early days of space exploration and his announcement only adds to the enthusiasm of those interested in Nasa's history," spokesman Bob Jacobs said in a statement.

The sea floor is littered with spent rockets and flight parts from missions dating back to the dawn of the space age and it's unknown what survived decades later after crashing into the ocean.

In 2009, a private company salvaged Gus Grissom's Mercury capsule that accidentally sank in the Atlantic after splashdown in 1961.
It was restored and displayed at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

Bezos's planned Apollo recovery is the latest deep-sea adventure by the wealthy.
Titanic director James Cameron descended to Earth's deepest spot in the western Pacific Ocean on Sunday, seven miles below the surface, which he described as an alien world.
Sir Richard Branson plans a similar dive to the deepest part of the Atlantic, the Puerto Rican trench, later this year.

It was not immediately clear when Bezos's team spotted the Apollo engines.
Bezos offered few details about the discovery and did not say how he knew the engines were from Apollo 11.
No timetable has been set for the recovery.

Links :
  • TheTelegraph : Amazon founder to raise Apollo 11 moon mission engines from the deep
  • TheGuardian : Engines from Apollo 11 moon flight found in the Atlantic

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fears grow over pollution risk from leaking North Sea gas rig

>>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

From TheGuardian

Scientists warn oil from Elgin platform owned by Total risks poisoning marine life alongside potential methane explosion

Fears are growing that a naked flame on the top of a leaking gas rig could spark a massive explosion and lead to a major pollution incident in the North Sea.

This is an undated handout photo issued by Total E&P UK Ltd of Total's Elgin PUQ
(Process/Utilities/Quarters) platform. (AP Photo / TOTAL E&P UK Ltd)

Total, the operator of the Elgin platform 140 miles east of Aberdeen, confirmed that in addition to a growing methane gas "cloud", a 4.8sq km sheen of oil "condensates" now covered the surface of the water near the platform.
But the company played down risks of major marine or air pollution.
"The situation is currently stable. We continue to take all possible measures to try to identify the source and cause of the leak and to bring it under control," the company said in a statement.

Detail from satellite radar image taken March 27, 2012, showing small slick (probably natural gas condensate) apparently originating from gas well blowout at Total's Elgin platform. Envisat ASAR image courtesy European Space Agency. (Skytruth)

According to Total, engineers are still trying to ascertain precisely where the gas and oil leaks are coming from.
It is believed that the main reservoir at the base of the drill shaft has been closed off, but gas and condensates may be leaking from any one of many points above it.

Martin Preston, marine pollution specialist and honorary research fellow at the University of Liverpool, said that from an environmental standpoint, both greenhouse gas emissions and local fish deaths were a concern.
"The methane release represents a very significant explosion hazard, and of course methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The gas in this field is 'sour gas' – ie it contains hydrogen sulphide which is very poisonous to humans and aquatic life – so localised risks to marine life are likely. The hydrogen sulphide content of the current release is unclear at present. Localised fish kills cannot be ruled out."

Oil pollution expert Simon Boxall of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, said because the leak is below the water's surface, hydrogen sulphide released could lead to mass animal and plant deaths.
"Much of the methane in the water will be consumed by micro-organisms and converted to carbon dioxide. This will make the water slightly more acidic, but the effect will be short-lived and localised, and therefore should not cause too much harm to marine life."

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said:
"According to Total, if the leak continues at its current flow for six months it will amount to nearly 800,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, adding to the burden of greenhouse gases already going into the atmosphere.
"This incident shows us that if the oil and gas industry can't contain leaks in supposedly less risky places like the North Sea then there's no way they should be allowed to drill in fragile and high risk places like the Arctic."

A 2-mile exclusion zone for ships and planes has been set up around the platform as oil and gas engineers were being flown in from around the world to help manage the methane gas leak.
Total has shut down the power supply and evacuated 238 people, a move followed on Tuesday by Shell which operates a nearby rig.

Boxall said human error could have led to the gas flare being left on when the platform was evacuated.
"It's bizarre. The priority in an emergency like this is to get everyone off the rig as fast as possible. But to turn off the flare needs power. It's possible the protocol was not followed," he said.
But he added that chances of the gas cloud "exploding" out to sea were practically non-existent.
"The danger is if gas trapped in the rig explodes,", he said.

No one will go anywhere near the rig until the venting gas flame is extinguished, possibly within 24 hours, but Total are expected to send in robots and drones to try to assess the underwater damage as soon as possible.

"The oil is either coming from the drilling mud or from the well head because there is always some oil in natural gas reservoirs.
This is a spill that can be managed by mechanical methods as soon as the danger of explosion due to the emitted methane gas is dealt with," said Christoph Gertler, a marine pollutant expert at Bangor University.

When the gas flare has been extinguished, engineers are expected to have two options to control the escape of gas and condensates.
The best solution would be for the leaking shaft to seal itself but if this does not happen soon, it may require a further bypass well to be drilled nearby to relieve pressure, as with the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
This could take six months to drill but, said Boxall, would be an "an order of magnitude easier" than Deepwater because the platform itself is in shallower water of 93 metres in depth.

The twin Elgin and Franklin gas fields, discovered in 1991, are in a geologically complex area of the North Sea around 5km deep below the sea bed.
Average daily production is around 230,000 barrels of oil equivalent.
Two connected platforms are are used by Total, one of which is reserved for drilling, the other for separating the oils and gases which are sent directly through a BP-operated pipeline to Kinneil in Scotland and Bacton in Norfolk.
The Franklin platform is normally unmanned.
Links :
  • OilDrum : Gas Leak at North Sea Elgin Platform
  • BBC : Flare still burning at North Sea gas leak Elgin platform
  • Total : Elgin Francklin incident statements

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fibre optics to connect Japan to the UK – via the Arctic

A map of the Arctic Link route Credit: Arctic Cable Company

From NewScientist

Looping fibre optics from Japan under the Arctic ice will improve internet performance – but is easier said than done

THE retreat of sea ice is bringing 21st-century communications to the Arctic.
In mid-August, construction should start on the first submarine fibre-optic cables to cross the Arctic Ocean, providing digital shortcuts between London and Tokyo, Japan.

Two cables are planned through the fabled North-West Passage above North America, while a third is planned along the Russian coast.
The longest of these links will become the world's longest single stretch of optical fibre.

Sea ice and icebergs pose unique challenges. Ships rated to work in ice-ridden waters are needed to lay the cable, and operations are possible for only a few months of the year.
Yet there are advantages to laying cables in the Arctic, says Denis Tsesarenko, a director of the Polarnet Project, which is building the Russian Optical Trans-Arctic Submarine Cable System (ROTACS).
Once laid, the cable should be largely safe from the biggest threats to cables in warmer waters: fishing trawlers and ships' anchors are extremely rare in the Arctic.

Meanwhile, a 15,600-kilometre link via the Canadian Arctic, to be built by Arctic Fibre of Toronto, Canada, will cut the present round-trip time, or "latency", between London and Tokyo from 230 milliseconds to 168 milliseconds, claims company president Doug Cunningham

Reduced transmission time will be a boon for high-frequency traders who will gain crucial milliseconds on each automated trade.
Optical amplifiers will boost signal strength every 50 to 100 kilometres.
The firm also plans to drill a tunnel 40 metres deep to take a shortcut through the Boothia isthmus in the Canadian Arctic - a thin strip of land that connects the Boothia peninsula to the mainland.
Isolated Arctic communities will also be connected by extra sections of cable that branch off from the main one.

A third project, by Arctic Link, a firm based in Anchorage, Alaska, is planned to begin in 2014.

A big plus for the Arctic cables is that they avoid failure-prone "choke points" such as the Luzon strait near Taiwan, the strait of Malacca between Indonesia and Malaysia, and the crowded and politically unsettled Middle East.
A single landslide or a ship dragging its anchor in these areas can break several cables, disrupting internet traffic.

Crucial parts of the North-West Passage are nominally ice-free from 20 August to 5 October, but you cannot rely on the fact that the ice will be open, says Chris Carobene, managing director for marine construction at TE SubCom, based in Morristown, New Jersey, which is not currently involved in these projects.
Ships must be built to withstand the pounding of ice as well as waves.
"Your cable ship needs a polar-ice rating even when you are working with an ice breaker," he says.
Standard cable ships are not built to withstand ice, so ice-rated ships built for other purposes will be converted to lay the cables.

Icebergs can plough more than a metre into the ocean floor, endangering cables.
Greenland's icebergs extend to depths as great as 170 metres below the sea surface, so Arctic Fibre will lay cable at least 600 metres deep in the Davis strait, where icebergs are most likely. The underside of sea ice also has ridges, or "bummocks", that reach depths of 18 metres, so Arctic Fibre aims to stay at least 50 metres down.

As Carobene says: "Ice is just another risk our industry has to manage."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Perpetual ocean : currents looks like a living Van Gogh painting

Visualization of the Earth's ocean surface currents around from June 2005 to December 2007
by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio (Flickr)

From Gizmodo

The Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center created this beautiful animation called Perpetual Ocean which visualizes the ocean's surface currents over a 30-month period between June 2005 and December 2007.

The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.

This visualization was produced using NASA/JPL's computational model called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2.
ECCO2 is high resolution model of the global ocean and sea-ice.
ECCO2 attempts to model the oceans and sea ice to increasingly accurate resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow-current systems which transport heat and carbon in the oceans.
The ECCO2 model simulates ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization.
The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry.
Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x.

The animation was created using NASA and JPL's high-resolution model of the global oceans, which is normally used for running simulations and predicting changes in the currents.
But this time the results were exaggerated to produce this short film that looks like it sprang from a Vincent Van Gogh canvas.

Starry Night (interactive animation)

Once again Mother Nature, you've bested our most talented artists.

Monday, March 26, 2012

James Cameron completes first solo dive to deepest spot on Earth

"Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can't wait to share what I'm seeing w/ you"
the 57-year-old filmmaker said in a separate Twitter message posted just after he touched down. (

From NationalGeographic

Filmmaker-explorer James Cameron just became the first human to reach Earth's deepest abyss alone—and the only one to explore it in depth.

See updated story: "James Cameron Completes Record-Breaking Mariana Trench Dive."

At 5:52 p.m. ET Sunday (7:52 a.m. Monday, local time), James Cameron arrived at the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep, members of the National Geographic expedition have confirmed.His depth on arrival: 35,756 feet (10,898 meters)—a figure unattainable anywhere else in the ocean.
Reaching bottom after a 2-hour-and-36-minute descent, the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker typed out welcome words for the cheering support crew waiting at the surface: "All systems OK."

Director James Cameron describes his experience plunging solo to the deepest-known point in the world's oceans.
Folded into a sub cockpit as cramped as any Apollo capsule, the National Geographic explorer and frilmmaker is now investigating a seascape more alien to humans than the moon. Cameron is only the third person to reach this Pacific Ocean valley southwest of Guam (map)—and the only one to do so solo.
Hovering in what he's called a vertical torpedo, Cameron is likely collecting data, specimens, and imagery unthinkable in 1960, when the only other explorers to reach Challenger Deep returned after seeing little more than the silt stirred up by their bathyscaphe.
After as long as six hours in the trench, Cameron—best known for creating fictional worlds on film (Avatar, Titanic, The Abyss)—is to jettison steel weights attached to the sub and shoot back to the surface. (See pictures of Cameron's sub.)
Meanwhile, the expedition's scientific support team awaits his return aboard the research ships Mermaid Sapphire and Barakuda, 7 miles (11 kilometers) up. (Video: how sound revealed that Challenger Deep is the deepest spot in the ocean.)

"We're now a band of brothers and sisters that have been through this for a while," marine biologist Doug Bartlett told National Geographic News from the ship before the dive.
"People have worked for months or years in a very intensive way to get to this point," said Bartlett, chief scientist for the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE program, a partnership with the National Geographic Society and Rolex. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)
"I think people are ready," added Bartlett, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California. "They want to get there, and they want to see this happen."

Rendez-vous at Challenger Deep
Upon touchdown at Challenger Deep, Cameron's first target is a phone booth-like unmanned "lander" dropped into the trench hours before his dive.
Using sonar, "I'm going to attempt to rendezvous with that vehicle so I can observe animals that are attracted to the chemical signature of its bait," Cameron told National Geographic News before the dive.
He'll later follow a route designed to take him through as many environments as possible, surveying not only the sediment-covered seafloor but also cliffs of interest to expedition geologists.
"I'll be doing a bit of a longitudinal transect along the trench axis for a while, and then I'll turn 90 degrees and I'll go north and work myself up the wall," said Cameron, also a National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence. (Listen: James Cameron on becoming a National Geographic explorer.)
Though battery power and vast distances limit his contact with his science team to text messaging and sporadic voice communication, Cameron seemed confident in his mission Friday. "I'm pretty well briefed on what I'll see," he said.
(Video: Cameron Dive First Attempt in Over 50 Years.)

Bullet to the Deep
To get to this point, Cameron and his crew have spent seven years reimagining what a submersible can be.
The result is the 24-foot-tall (7-meter-tall) DEEPSEA CHALLENGER.

Engineered to sink upright and spinning, like a bullet fired straight into the Mariana Trench, the sub can descend about 500 feet (150 meters) a minute—"amazingly fast," in the words of Robert Stern, a marine geologist at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Pre-expedition estimates put the Challenger Deep descent at about 90 minutes. (Animation: Cameron's Mariana Trench dive compressed into one minute.)
By contrast, some current remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, descend at about 40 meters (130 feet) a minute, added Stern, who isn't part of the expedition.
Andy Bowen, project manager and principal developer of the Nereus, an ROV that explored Challenger Deep in 2009, called the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER "an extremely elegant solution to the challenge of diving a human-occupied submersible to such extreme depths."
"It's been engineered to be very effective at getting from the surface to the seafloor in as quick a time as possible," said Bowen, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who also isn't part of the current expedition.
And that's just the idea, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE team says: The faster Cameron gets there, the more time for science. (Read more about DEEPSEA CHALLENGE science.)
Pursuing speed and science in tandem makes the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER test dives—and even the Mariana Trench mission—perhaps as unorthodox as the sub itself.
Typically "you conduct a sea trial for a vehicle, you pronounce it fit for service, and then you develop a science program around it," Cameron said before heading to the trench. "We collapsed that together into one expedition, because [we were] fairly confident the vehicle would work—and it is."
Techno Torpedo
Now, at the bottom of the trench, the sub's custom-designed foam filling and the pressure-resistant shape of the "pilot sphere"—are helping protect Cameron from the equivalent of 8 tons pressing down on every square inch (1,125 kilograms per square centimeter). (Video: how sub sphere protects Cameron.)
Among the sub's tools are a sediment sampler, a mechanical claw, a "slurp gun" for sucking up small sea creatures for study at the surface, and temperature, salinity, and pressure gauges.
While that might sound like a gearhead's paradise, Cameron knows he'll "have to be able to prioritize."
"Is my manipulator working properly? Do I still have room in my sample drawer? And do I still have the ability to take a [sediment] core sample? ... I only have [tools for] three sediment cores available on the vehicle, so I have to choose wisely when to use them."
By contrast, the sub's multiple 3-D cameras will be whirring almost continually, and not just for the benefit of future audiences of planned documentaries.
"There is scientific value in getting stereo images," Cameron said, "because ... you can determine the scale and distance of objects from stereo pairs that you can't from 2-D images."
But, Scripps's Bartlett said, "it's not just the video." The sub's lighting of deepwater scenes—mainly by an 8-foot (2.5-meter) tower of LEDs—is "so, so beautiful. It's unlike anything that you'll have seen from other subs or other remotely operated vehicles."
(Video: Cameron Dive Is an Exploration First.)
The Search for Life
Right now it's a mystery what Cameron is seeing, sampling, and filming at depth, in part because so little is known about the Challenger Deep environment.
The only glimpses scientists have had of the region, via two ROV missions, showed a seafloor covered in light gray, silky mud.
Cameron may be detecting subtle signs of life—burrows or tracks or fecal piles—said DEEPSEA CHALLENGE biological oceanographer Lisa Levin, also of Scripps, who's monitoring the expedition from afar.
If the water's clear, she added, Cameron may be seeing jellyfish or xenophyophores—giant, single-celled, honeycomb-shaped creatures already filmed in other areas of the Mariana Trench. (See "Giant 'Amoebas' Found in Deepest Place on Earth.")
"If we get lucky," Cameron said before the dive, "we should find something like a cold seep, where we might find tube worms." Cold seeps are regions of the ocean floor somewhat like hydrothermal vents (video) that ooze fluid chemicals at the same temperature as the surrounding water.
Earlier this month, during a test dive near Papua New Guinea, Cameron brought back enormous shrimplike creatures from five miles (eight kilometers) down. At 7 inches (17 centimeters) long, the animals are "the largest amphipods ever seen at that kind of depth," chief scientist Bartlett said. "And we saw one on camera that was perhaps twice that size."
At Challenger Deep depths, though, the calcium animals need to form shells dissolves quickly. It's unlikely—though not impossible—that Cameron is finding shelled creatures, but if he does, the discovery would be a scientific jaw-dropper.
Even if he uncovers "a rock with a shell limpet or some kind of bivalve in the mud"—such as a clam, perhaps—"that would be exciting," Scripps's Levin said.
Aliens of the Abyss
Expedition astrobiologist Kevin Hand, of NASA, imagines that the life-forms Cameron might be encountering could help fine-tune the search for extraterrestrial life.
For instance, scientists think Jupiter's moon Europa could harbor a global ocean beneath its thick shell of ice—an ocean that, like Challenger Deep, would be lightless, near freezing, and home to areas of intense pressure. (See "Could Jupiter Moon Harbor Fish-Size Life?")
By studying the wavelengths of light, or spectra, reflected off life-forms and sediments brought up by Cameron, Hand should get a better idea of which minerals are needed for life in such an environment. This, in turn, might help him design a space probe better able to detect signs of life on Europa.
"There's an old adage in geology that the best geologist is the one that's seen the most rocks," said Hand, a National Geographic emerging explorer.
"I think astrobiology could have a similar adage, in that our best capability for finding life elsewhere—and knowing it when we see it—will come from having a comprehensive understanding of all the various extremes of life on Earth."
And for UT Dallas's Stern, DEEPSEA CHALLENGER's rock-sampling capability offers the opportunity to better understand our planet's inner workings.
"Challenger Deep is the deepest cut into the solid Earth," Stern said, "and this gives us a chance to see deeper into the Earth than anywhere else."
Once the trench-dive data, specimens, and imagery have been analyzed, National Geographic magazine plans to reveal the full results in a special issue on next-generation exploration in January 2013.
"A Turning Point"
By returning humans to the so-called hadal zone—the ocean's deepest level, below 20,000 feet (6,000 meters)—the Challenger Deep expedition may represent a renaissance in deep-sea exploration.
While ROVs are much less expensive than manned subs, "the critical thing is to be able to take the human mind down into that environment," expedition member Patricia Fryer said, "to be able to turn your head and look around to see what the relationships are between organisms in a community and to see how they're behaving—to turn off all the lights and just sit there and watch and not frighten the animals, so that they behave normally.
"That is almost impossible to do with an ROV," said Fryer, a marine geologist at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics & Planetology.
In fact, Cameron is so confident in his star vehicle that he started mulling sequels even before the trench dive.
Phase two might include adding a thin fiber-optic tether to the ship, which "would allow science observers at the surface to see the images in real time," he said. "And phase three might be taking this vehicle and creating a second-generation vehicle."
DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, then, may be anything but a one-hit wonder. To Bartlett, the Mariana Trench expedition could "represent a turning point in how we approach ocean science.
"I absolutely think that what you're seeing is the start of a program, not just one grand expedition."
Links :

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The stars as viewed from the International Space Station

Timelapse videos depicting the stars from low earth orbit, as viewed from the International Space Station.

Images edited with some cropping to make the stars the focal point of each shot, and with manipulation of the contrast to bring out the stars a bit more.
Timelapses and images courtesy: The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.
The Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.