Month: April 2015

The Goal

My aim is to lower the technological barrier so that everyone interested can play a role in exploring the world’s oceans. I think by now everyone can agree that our world is undergoing a period of rapid environmental change. It is imperative that we try to capture the state of the oceans today in order to help us understand, as fully as we can, what is occurring all around us.

Completely exploring a pond can take weeks, yet we need to perform this task for 71 percent of our planet, frequently immersed in total darkness, sometimes traversing under miles of ice, and regularly coping with pressures of over 6,000 pounds per square inch. It will take global collaboration to do this, an expansive partnership consisting of students, fishermen, offshore oil workers, retirees, merchant mariners, parents, children, IT professionals, gamers, radio operators, and so on, but all of them explorers.

In the months to come I will begin designing, building and testing a few of the subsystems and vehicles necessary to begin this effort. My intent is to make the plans freely available where possible for you to use as-is or to improve upon. As things progress I will come to need partners and associates of all skills and sorts, but first I must begin delivering on what I have promised. But now, coffee.

My New Direction

Find your passion and then follow it. Sagely advice to be sure. I have spent the last decade designing and building spacecraft, mostly for NASA. By and large it has been a rewarding experience, primarily because of the amazing people you get to hang out with. But as time slips by, I feel more and more compelled to make a difference. I personally think life is like a camping trip. You should try to leave things a little better than when you arrived.  My new way of doing this is by providing the robotics needed to enable us to explore our oceans.

I have always loved the sea. Although I’ve been confined to the surface, the little I have seen there has been astonishing. During my time devoted to the exploration of space, sailing was a pleasant distraction for me, but now things are going to change. I keep my sailboat, Solitaire, on Galveston Bay close to home. She will now be pressed into service to help me develop the tools to explore the oceans from top to bottom.  The Gulf of Mexico is on my doorstep, so this is where I shall begin. But first I have to get her working again, and then build some sea dwelling robots…Lots of work to be done. But now, coffee.