Renowned French diver, polar explorer and environmentalist Alban Michon has announced his new ambitious project, the Biodysseus mission, according to the Daily Mail. Michon intends to spend six months in an underwater laboratory, which will be lowered to a depth of 10 meters under the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean. The researcher believes that this experiment will help in every sense to better understand the impact of global warming on the region.
The source of inspiration for the French explorer is his compatriot oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who, in his Precontinent projects, explored the possibility of long-term isolation under water. During their latest experience, Precontinent 3, a team of oceanauts spent 22 days in an "underwater house" submerged to a depth of 100 meters off the coast of Monaco.
“Thanks to the development of new technologies, we continue to gain momentum started by Commander Cousteau,” says Michon. Its "underwater home" is conceived as an innovative base for oceanographic and spatial research, measuring 24 by 2.3 meters with a panoramic sea view from the facade. The exact location has not yet been determined, but the laboratory should be lowered to a depth of 10 meters in the fall, before the ice begins to form. “In six months, it will start to melt. What we are aiming for is to spend almost a whole season underwater, under the ice,” says Michon. According to him, this will allow researchers to be in an environment resembling a mother's womb, becoming like a fetus. At the same time, researchers will make do with recycled air, water and energy.
“Because the Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the world, I decided to go on a journey and create the first underwater oceanographic and spatial research base dedicated to science and technology,” says Michon. “This base, whose environmental impact will be minimized as much as possible, meets criteria such as transportability, modularity, scalability and durability. This is a self-contained habitat that can accommodate a crew of four bio-oceanauts.”
Michon believes that, in addition to oceanographic research, his base, with its extreme habitat conditions, could be useful to space agencies, since it “will allow simulating EVAs during diving and preparing for space flights.”
Michon also plans to build a second base, above ground, so that those in the underwater lab will have constant communication with the support team, as well as create an underwater meeting pod. In the event of an emergency, this will allow delivering doctors to the laboratory.
The expedition is scheduled for the end of 2025. The cost of the project is 14 million euros. Michon has already collected about 10% of the required amount through donations.
All details of the project can be found on its website .