This week on Catch Our Drift, we are exploring the parallel realms of Outer Space and Inner Space as we gaze at the stars and also turn our eyes downwards to contemplate the vast ocean depths.
We’re delighted to be joined by astronaut and aquanaut Kathy Sullivan – the only woman to have walked both in space and descend to the ocean’s greatest depth. Who better to tell us about both worlds? Fabien Cousteau shares his plans to build Proteus, the ocean’s equivalent of the International Space Station, an underwater habitat that will enable aquanauts to live on the seabed for weeks at a time. And ice cream seller turned oceanographer Craig Donlon discusses his work at the European Space Station monitoring the impacts of climate change on our ocean from space.
Astronaut and aquanaut Kathy Sullivan is the only woman on the planet who has been to space and to the deepest part of the ocean. She joined NASA in the first cohort of female astronauts and went on to be Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, under President Obama and was part of President’s Biden’s transition team. She tells s us why it matters that we push the boundaries of exploration.
DR CRAIG DONLON
Oceanographer Craig Donlon has been engaged in Earth observation and oceanography for over 25 years. He trained as oceanographer and now works for the European Space Agency tracking the impacts of climate change on the ocean.
Fabien Cousteau has dreamed for years of building a modern underwater habitat. In 2014 Fabien and his crew spent 31 days living and working at the last habitable underwater facility, Aquarius, off the coast of Florida. Aquarius is now over 30 years old. Fabien has a bold new vision, Proteus, an advanced underwater laboratory research station and habitat that will allow scientists and observers to live under the sea for weeks or potentially months on end – an underwater International Space Station.