First manned underwater habitat
Last updated: May 20, 2020 at 0:22 am
1962 – Man-in-the-Sea I project by Edwin A. Link. Robert Sténuit, the world’s first aquanaut, spent 24 hours and 15 minutes in a submersible decompression chamber (SDC) at a depth of 61 m (200 ft) on September 6, 1962. Sténuit’s record immersion off Villefranche-sur-Mer (France) also included several dives outside of the habitat. A strong mistral northwesterly wind that sank the expedition launch carrying fifteen bottles of helium also created a surge that caused the chamber to float back to the surface while still under pressure, thus sparing its occupant from certain death due to decompression sickness. In 1964 Sténuit and Jon Lindbergh spent 49 hours at a depth of 126 meters during Man-in-the-Sea II. The breathing gas for both projects was heliox (97% helium, 3% oxygen). Man-in-the-Sea I beat Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s Conshelf I for the title of the world’s first aquanaut by a mere eight days.