Nasa’s space mission takes us to unexplored depths of our own planet.
And that includes our planet’s stunning oceans – but why have they stopped exploring? And what did you find? Here’s everything you need to know.
Why did NASA stop exploring the ocean?
For over a decade, NASA has launched a number of initiatives to explore the hidden depths of our oceans.
And the good news is that NASA hasn’t decided to stop exploring the ocean just yet – despite what some might think.
In 2015 the Aquarius mission ended due to a technical defect and in 2015 the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment was stopped because the GRACE-2 satellite had to be retired due to its age.
In 2021, however, NASA has teamed up with deep-sea explorers to develop technology for the Europa mission – so interest in exploring the oceans is unlikely to wane any time soon.
And judging by the latest stimulus launched by NASA, the next few years will bring unprecedented breakthroughs to light.
Why did NASA explore the ocean?
NASA has conducted numerous marine exploration programs looking at the marine life found on Mars and other moons.
Thanks to a combination of impossibly deep waters, immense pressure, and a lack of sunlight, over 80 percent of all of Earth’s oceans are an utter mystery.
And two NASA ESSP missions are dedicated to uncovering these mysteries — these include the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and the Aquarius mission.
Launched on March 17, 2002, GRACE was designed to study previously undetectable fluctuations in the ocean’s mass field – important for climate and ocean circulation studies.
The Aquarius mission, launched on June 10, 2011, was set up to study ocean salinity from space – known as NEEMO, groups of astronauts, engineers and scientists are being sent to live in Aquarius.
The Aquarius is the only underwater research station in the world and researchers are sent there for up to three weeks at a time.
Aquarius scientists worked to understand the changing ocean and the state of coral reefs threatened locally, regionally and globally by increasing pollution, overfishing, disease and climate change.
The explorations of the ocean conducted by NASA have resulted in discoveries and technologies that are widely used in research and application today.
Examples of this initiative include – sea surface togography measured with precision altimeters, ocean vector winds measured with scatterometers, and ocean color measured with radiometers.
What did NASA find in the ocean?
Aquarius provided key data on ocean surface salinity needed to connect the hydrological cycle and ocean circulation – two key components of the climate system.
The mission also discovered that residents of Aquarius, known as “aquanauts,” can remain off Aquarius indefinitely during their dives and have nearly unlimited bottom time.
At the end of a mission, aquanauts undergo a 17-hour decompression process performed in Aquarius itself while on the bottom.
At the end of decompression, aquanauts exited Aquarius and returned to the surface.
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5997765/nasa-stop-exploring-the-ocean-why/ Why did NASA stop exploring the ocean?