Deep diving filmmaker becomes an aquanaut
The name Cousteau is synonymous with ocean exploration. The three-time Oscar-winning director Jacques Cousteau transformed our understanding of the underwater environment with his film work in the twentieth century.
Now, his grandson Fabien plans to open our eyes to climate change by spending 31 days in the Aquarius underwater laboratory – an environment familiar to astronauts who've spent time training there.
Whilst astronauts use the underwater environment to train for weightlessness off the planet's surface, Fabien Cousteau wants to remind us all how important it is to take care of life under the sea.
Most missions to the Aquarius laboratory last less than a fortnight. By staying for 31 days, will smash the record of 18 days for anybody working on Aquarius and also beat his grandfather's record of 30 days, spent in an underwater village in the Red Sea.
Fabien Cousteau wants to reignite the public's interest and care for the oceans by showing them the underwater world from a new perspective. He will communicate from the sea bed through Twitter and Facebook, and has also arranged broadcasts on YouTube and through Skype to classrooms in the United States.
Divers operating from the Aquarius base can work for much longer times without decompressing because they will stay underwater. This makes for a huge advantage in the amount of filming the team will get done.
They will also bring underwater transportation to get away from the immediate environs of the Aquarius whilst they are filming.Space enthusiasts Richard Branson and will.i.am are expected to pay visits to the laboratory whilst Fabien is on his "long-duration mission". There are also plans to contact the crew orbiting aboard the International Space Station.
Cousteau's adventure, which he has dubbed "Mission 31" is expected to begin at the end of September. Like previous aquanauts, he will have to hope that the Atlantic hurricane season doesn't disrupt his plans.