Work set to begin on remarkable research vessel SeaOrbiter

58m-high SeaOrbiter will constantly cruise the world's oceans, offering unique research opportunity

Construction is set to begin later this year on an exploration vessel unlike anything ever before seen on the world’s oceans.

SeaOrbiter is a 58m high, 10 storey laboratory displacing 2,600 tons built from recycled aluminium that will spend its life drifting the world’s oceans with a complement of scientists.

The vessel is the brainchild of French architect Jacques Rougerie, whose projects include the underwater archaeological museum in Alexandria.

SeaOrbiter’s first mission will take it all round the Mediterranean, searching for new species and sunken civilisations, before heading out into the Atlantic.

Following the construction of this first vessel, the plan is to build a fleet of five SeaOrbiters that will constantly cruise the seas collecting and sharing data.

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The vessel itself is remarkable, towering 27 metres above the waterline and sinking 31 metres below it.

The six accommodation levels under the water will allow scientists to live in a constantly pressurised environment, giving them instant and direct access to the sea.

Astronauts will also take advantage of this unique environment to prepare them for outer space, with the SeaOrbiter organisation recently signing an MoU with the European Space Agency.

The sun and wind are set to be harvested to supply the vessel’s energy needs, giving it true autonomy to constantly cruise 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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