This blog is for the Mullineaux lab group's research cruises to study larvae at deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Dive to inner space
10-Sep-2010. Today, Susan went on Shinkai 6500, Dive 1225 to Pika Vent. Just like an astronaut dons a space suit, Susan wore a special flame-retardant suit required for divers in Shinkai (photo 1). One thing about diving to the deep sea that is very different than in space, however, is that satellite transmission does not penetrate through the water column. You can’t get a GPS position directly on the seafloor. The Shinkai group uses acoustic navigation to track the Shinkai during a dive. In photo 2 you can see the Navigation Lab, with Chief Scientist Kojima-san speaking with the navigators and our Expedition Leader Sakurai-san next to the plotter. The navigation enabled Shinkai to go directly to Pika Vent for biological sampling (photo 3). After the dive, the scientists eagerly collect samples off the Shinkai’s basket (photo 4).