“Everything we learned by working together with the oceanographic community has been completely invaluable, really priceless, in helping us have confidence in the process that we’re using to design our science operations for Viper,” says Lim.
On space missions, communication is extremely limited, says Mirmalek. To prepare for outer space conditions, Mirmalek restricted the Subsea scientists to communicating with each other just once a day. “There were no failures – they met all their research goals,” she says.
But much like missions off our planet, those to the bottom of the oceans are also allowing humanity to look at the Earth in new ways. While Nasa says its oceanographic explorations have yielded “thousands” of scientific discoveries, they are also providing information that could be vital if we hope to continue living on a world with healthy oceans. We need to understand our oceanic environments if we are to save them, says Laura Lorenzoni, ocean biology and biogeochemistry program scientist with the science mission directorate at Nasa.
“This is critical for life on Earth, and the sustained measurements Nasa has done, and continues to do, are fundamental for ensuring a sustainable use of our ocean resources,” she says.
It means that each step towards the exploration of other worlds, we learn a little bit more about some of the most unexplored parts of our own blue planet too.
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