You're looking at the aquatic version of the International Space Station: the Sea Orbiter, designed by French architect Jacques Rougerie. A 170-foot-tall vessel, it's designed to float across the ocean with the help of currents and wind, taking a leisurely two years to make its journey. About two-thirds of the structure will remain underwater, and that section will be used for "a fish-collection system for studies of the pelagic ecosystem, plankton biodiversity, and fish stocks." In addition, both NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) are interested in using it, as being in such a small space for an extended period of time with a bunch of other geeky scientists is just like being on the space station. Furthermore, leaving the rig from the bottom to fix the hull or install new modules is very similar to going on a space walk to fix a ship, only with more fish and whales and stuff around. Only a scale model of the Sea Orbiter has been built so far, but plans are underway to create the full ship and set it afloat in the near future.
Thank you for your loyal readership! And look for our sister site, Blastr, To start reporting more on the world of innovative technology, science and design. Go to Blastr.com now