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Science History

Ocean Outpost

The Future of Humans Living Underwater

by (author) Erik Seedhouse

Initial publish date
Sep 2010
History, Environmental Science, Marine Biology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price

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One of the greatest scientific and technological achievements of the 21st century will be to cast a light on the eternal darkness of the deep ocean and this book identifies the key determinants of life or death in its extreme environment. Dr. Erik Seedhouse examines how individuals survive free dives to 200m, how humans adapt to breathing exotic gas mixes at depths exceeding 700m, and how technological innovation will enable humans to enter unendurable realms. The book describes the problems unique to the hostile environment of the deep ocean, such as decompression sickness, discusses how the human body responds to increased pressure, and what happens when adaptive mechanisms fail. Ocean Outpost describes how the technology will evolve, how crews will be selected and trained and what a typical underwater mission will entail. The book also chronicles the frontiers of diving medicine that will eventually take humans into the midst of a world we could once only guess at. Ocean Outpost is an undersea roadmap charting the future of man's exploration of Earth's last vast unexplored territory. To realize the goal of an extended human presence underwater a wealth of new technologies will be developed, such as new manned and unmanned submersibles, advanced propulsion systems, underwater rescue systems, decompression methods, and revolutionary physiological intervention strategies ranging from liquid ventilation to artifical gills.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Dr. Erik Seedhouse is an aerospace and hyper/hypobaric research scientist specializing in space life sciences and diving physiology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physiology while working for the European Space Agency between 1996 and 1998. In 2001, he established the Freediving Research Project while working as a co-director of the Extreme Physiology Program at Simon Fraser University. In 2005, he worked as as Astronaut Training Consultant for Bigelow Aerospace, for whom he wrote the Spaceflight Participant's Flight Surgeon's Manual. He also developed astronaut-training protocols for future spaceflight participants and wrote and edited several chapters of Bigelow Aerospace's Astronaut Training Manual. Considered a world authority on the subject of space tourism, the author recently wrote the Encyclopedia Britannica defintion of the subject. In 2009 he was selected as an astronaut candidate in the final group of thirty being considered for selection by the Canadian Space Agency. He has professional scuba-diving certification and has made more than 300 dives over 25 years.

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