The Inner Space Center (ISC) has completed another successful year of ocean exploration! We’re excited to say that we’ve had a few milestones this year. We supported three research vessels, completed our first-ever live TV broadcasts from sea, and worked with the University of Rhode Island’s R/V Endeavor using telepresence.
The ISC team worked with NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer as they made their way to Hawaii and explored some new environments. The 2015 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters expedition starred the remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer (D2). With D2, the Okeanos Explorer was able to map new territory and collect some unknown coral species. With the broad reach of telepresence, every dive has the potential to uncover new species. This is the first year the Okeanos Explorer was able to take physical samples using D2. Physical samples provide more information than purely visual observation. The 2016 Okeanos Explorer field season will start this February in Hawaii.
The E/V Nautilus started off their season in the Gulf of Mexico looking for corals and gas seeps. During one of the otherwise uneventful gas seep dives, ROV Hercules had a rare visitor: a juvenile sperm whale! Normally marine mammals stay away from ROVs, but this whale put on a show for us!
The E/V Nautilus also crossed the Panama Canal and made it out to the Galapagos! Along the way, they stopped at the USS Macon wreck and visited a whale fall site. The team finished their season in Canada. The E/V Nautilus 2016 season will start this May in Canada.
One of the major accomplishments of the year was our Explore With Us: Rhode Island Shipwrecks project, with the help of Rhode Island PBS. The ISC team, scientists from the United States Coast Guard Academy and URI, and local Rhode Island high school teachers worked aboard the R/V Endeavor for 5 days. This was the first time the ISC team broadcast an ISC production from ship to shore! Each day three live shows were broadcast to RI PBS and our website! Every episode is available on our YouTube channel in case you missed the action! (ISC YouTube Channel)
Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming events and tours! We will see you next year!
-The ISC Team