Fabien Cousteau to Discuss Underwater Mission 31 at Norwalk Aquarium
Fabien Cousteau visits the sharks at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk during a photo shoot for Town & Country magazine.
The fish doesn’t stray far from the school in the Cousteau family—Fabien Cousteau, 46, grandson of the famed undersea icon, represents the third generation to go into the family business of exploring the world’s oceans and filmmaking, and he’s going to new depths with his own expedition, Mission 31, which he'll speak about at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Feb. 6 at 8 p.m.
Cousteau, who grew up on his famous grandfather’s research boats Calypso and Alcyone, will mark the 50th anniversary of Jacques Cousteau’s revolutionary Conshelf Two mission (for which he created the first underwater habitats for humans) by leading his own daring expedition, Mission 31. This spring he and five other aquanauts will board the Aquarius habitat and lab on the ocean floor in the Florida Keys and attempt to remain there for 31 days straight—a day longer than the Conshelf Two habitat and twice as deep, for a total of 63 feet and three atmospheres of saturation pressure below sea level. And they’ve invited company—friends Sir Richard Branson and Jackson Browne are planning to come aboard during the month.
It will all be broadcast live on the Internet and Skype in what Cousteau calls “the most extensive far-reaching underwater classroom ever created.” Expect Twitter and Facebook updates, and there’s a documentary in the works, too. The Weather Channel will also provide ongoing coverage of the mission with live reports. Bonnets Rouges and Liquid Pictures will be shooting footage for a longer IMAX production.
According to a press release from Cousteau's team, the mission aims to conduct research on the underwater effects of climate change on corals, sponges and sea life with scientific advice and mission support from Northeastern University's Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative. The team will lead human physiological and psychological experiments to determine how long humans can live without sun, the effects of long-term high pressure. Divers Alert Network (DAN) researc team will study prolonged confinement on brain function and physiological effects after long-tern saturation diving.
OceanElders, and organization that includes Sir Richard Branson, Sylvia A. Earle, Jackson Browne, Neil Young and others, will assist in raising awareness and VIP visits to Aquarius during Mission 31. Musician will.i.am, also the founder of the i.am.angel Foundation, will sponsor 12 high school students from his i.am College Track Program to receive SCUBA training visits during the mission. Cousteau's grandfather invented SCUBA gear.
Tickets $30, members $25. For further information, call 203/852-0700 or visit maritimeaquarium.org.Fabien Cousteau to Discuss Underwater Mission 31 at Norwalk Aquarium