I woke up to a dozen text messages asking for spur-of-the-moment interviews with various news media, which I didn't expect. What a way to wake up! Although I couldn't get to reef base in time for big pre-splashdown buzz, I was in time to catch the aquanauts entering Aquarius live. Reef base ("mission control") was chaotic. Various news media, including The Weather Channel, CNN, and NBC were there to cover the splashdown, while Aquarius' operations managers focused on making sure the aquanauts safely entered the habitat and everything went as planned. A couple of news articles from today are here: The Weather Channel and NBC.
At mission control, there were a large group of people, including media, huddled around a computer monitor waiting for Fabien, Andy, and Adam to enter the habitat. Fabien had a huge smile as he entered Aquarius, his home for the next 31 days. I'm looking forward to joining with Liz on the 17th! Meanwhile, I'll be preparing scientific research, supporting with surface dives, and helping with ocean outreach. We all passed training and the mission has officially begun!
Here's the splashdown video!
After things settled down, I joined our publicist Amy, plus Jen Carfagno and Donna from The Weather Channel for a lunch at the fabulous Cheeca Resort. It was a beautiful get-away. After lunch, I moved my things to the mission headquarters house so full-time Aquarius operations staff could take my room near reef base.
Splashdown Party AT Diving Museum
I then joined the topside crew for our Mission 31 Splashdown Party at the Florida Key's History of Diving Museum. What an event! Author Dirk Cussler, the official DOXA historian, a Leonardo DiCaprio look-a-like, and a film producer, among others, celebrated with the team.
Get to know the aquanauts!
How did Fabien pick the team of aquanauts? "I picked [the] team by the great things that they can do," Fabien said in a tweet via @Mission_31. The Mission 31 website has a bio for each aquanaut on the team.
I hope to complete podcasts highlighting each of the aquanauts, including the great topside science researchers. In the meantime, CNET released short interviews with each of the Mission 31 aquanauts in the article: Deep thoughts from aquanauts: Meet the Mission 31 undersea team. Here's mine below: