|By Marketwired .||
|April 8, 2014 10:31 AM EDT||
KEY LARGO, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 04/08/14 -- The countdown to Fabien Cousteau's Mission 31 is underway with final preparations in progress for the documentary filmmaker and his team. They will live and work in the name of science in Aquarius, the world's only underwater research lab. This will be the first time a mission of this length has taken place in the history of Aquarius, which is deployed 63 feet beneath the sea off the coast of Key Largo, Fla., operated by Florida International University (FIU).
Splashdown for Mission 31 will commence on June 1, and Cousteau's team will emerge from the mission on July 2. This will be Cousteau's first saturation dive making him the first Cousteau of his generation to become an aquanaut.
"The overarching theme for Mission 31 is the human-ocean connection within the lens of exploration and discovery," said Cousteau whose ground breaking exploration honors the 50th anniversary of the Conshelf Two mission led by his grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who is credited with creating the first ocean floor habitats for humans and taking a team of ocean explorers on the 30-day mission. Mission 31 will expand the 50-year-old Cousteau legacy by one full day, 30 more feet of depth and will broadcast every second of the mission exposing the world to the adventure, challenge and mystery of what lies beneath. "Mission 31 pays homage to my grandfather's work and all aquanauts who have since followed his lead in the name of ocean exploration."
Cousteau's partnership with Nokia Lumia will enable him and his team of aquanauts to communicate with the world using the 41 megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020 device, Skype and the Wi-Fi equipped Aquarius. The advanced Lumia functionality will be an integral support for the mission to capture high quality images using the 41 megapixel camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020. Additionally, the aquanauts will also be able to stay connected to social channels through the Nokia Lumia 1520 to ensure that every aspect of the innovative exploration can be captured and shared (www.facebook.com/nokia).
Three main topics will be highlighted throughout Cousteau's Mission 31: climate change and the related challenges of ocean acidification; ocean pollution with an emphasis on the effects of plastics; and overconsumption of resources with specific focus on the decline of biodiversity. Science partners for Mission 31 include FIU, assisting with scientific and topside mission control support led by the FIU Medina Aquarius Program team as well as faculty and students from FIU's School of Environment, Arts and Society. Northeastern University's Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative will provide additional scientific advice led by professor of marine and environmental sciences, Mark Patterson, Ph.D.
During the 31-day mission, Cousteau and his team will spend about six to nine hours a day diving for science experimentation while his Bonnet Rouge production team will be shooting short and long format documentaries for Mission 31.
Cousteau's team will also conduct daily Skype video calls with classrooms around the world through Skype in the classroom, the global education partner for Mission 31. Teachers can access curriculum at: http://www.mission-31.com. The Weather Channel has partnered with Mission 31 to provide ongoing coverage including live reports throughout the mission and updates on The Weather Channel App, available free through iTunes.
The iconic Swiss watch brand, DOXA is the official timekeeper for Mission 31 and is commemorating Cousteau's project with a Mission 31 dive watch with proceeds going toward mission support. DOXA has produced 331 pieces of a special edition, famous orange-face DOXA SUB dive watch; 31 of which will spend 31 days underwater with Cousteau's team. The watches will be hand-delivered to Cousteau by Dirk Cussler, son of best-selling author Clive Cussler and co-author of several novels featuring the adventures of Dirk Pitt, the fictional, ocean-loving protagonist who wears a DOXA watch on his exploits. A few lucky customers will be able to acquire commemorative DOXA watches if pre-ordered at: http://www.doxawatches.com/mission31/m31.html.
Cousteau's Mission 31 is a privately funded expedition that is receiving support from corporate sponsors including: Nokia Lumia, DOXA, Hewlett-Packard, Plant A Fish, Symantec, Aquarius Foundation, Town & Country magazine, Ritz-Carlton, Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, Wheelabrator Technologies and more (http://mission-31.com/about-mission-31/our-partners).
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