Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Worlds Explorer Habitat In Construction

Assembly on the manned undersea habitat, the New Worlds Explorer begins today in Florida. The fabrication of the pressure hull plate segments is complete and the assembly of the habitat is commencing. The habitat, shown in a concept drawing above, represents several firsts in the history of manned exploration of the oceans. The habitat is the first to be specifically designed and constructed to answer questions about permanent human occupation of the undersea regions of the world. The habitat is also the first ever to be constructed from Kevlar, a material selected because of its high strength-to-weight ratio - five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis. The habitat is designed to occupy two to three aquanauts on missions of two to seven days in duration. Crews will investigate science and engineering questions concerning the permanent presence of human colonies in the oceans.

The New Worlds Explorer, designed by Dennis Chamberland, is also designed as a companion habitat and engineering model to the Leviathan Habitat, scheduled for construction soon. Both habitats will be used to support underwater crews on the longest manned underwater mission in history in 2010. The New Worlds Explorer is scheduled for deployment in 2009.