Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Aquarius Underwater Laboratory
The Aquarius underwater ocean laboratory is located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary three and a half miles off-shore in Conch Reef. The laboratory is currently in 60 feet of water but is built to withstand depths of up to 120 feet. The actually laboratory is home to scientists who live during ten-day mission. Inside the laboratory are bunks, a shower, a toilet, hot water, a trash compactor, a microwave, air conditioning, computers linked back to shore base and even a refrigerator. Aquarius is owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and administered by the National Undersea Research Program (NURP). Aquarius has supported in excess of 67 missions since 1992. Divers practice saturation diving, a form of diving which allows for extended periods of time underwater in which they can work and research. Aquarius divers have done research on the effects of ultra violet radiation on coral reefs and work with different forms of pollution in the water. Currently, NASA space simulation missions are occurring in the research laboratory. Site can not be dived durring research
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