Just Exactly What is a HAB?


The Aquarius Undersea Habitat and Laboratory is an underwater habitat located 5.4 miles (9 kilometers) off Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It is deployed on the ocean floor 62 feet (19 meters) below the surface and next to a deep coral reef named Conch Reef.

Today the Aquarius is still used for annual astronaut training missions, while functioning as a cutting-edge lab environment for research into sleep medicine, anti-aging, coral reef restoration, telomeres, ocean conservation, survival in extreme environments, exoskeletons and much more.


Aquarius is the only saturation environment on the planet today, and is used as an analog for human-to-space missions in astronaut training as well as being a working science lab and training facility.


The Aquarius crew may spend anywhere from 7 – 30 days living underwater in the Hab, training for space, running scientific experiments, taking care of the deepest coral nursery in the world, and generally advancing our understanding of the newest science and tech being developed today.

Science on the Hab


Aquanauts on the Hab stay below the surface for missions that run anywhere from 7 to 30 days at a time, and work on real science experiments and research in a variety of fields. Science from the Hab has encompassed:

Life Extension | Stem Cell Therapies | Telomere Research | Human Health & Enhancement Cryonics | Genomics | Cognitive Medicine | Quantified Self | Artifical Intelligence | Big Data | Cognitive Computing | Cloud Computing | Machine Learning | Robotics | Exoskeletons | Human-Robotic Interdependence | Human Machine Cognition | Virtual Reality | Augmentics | Blockchain | Environmental Stewardship | Coral regeneration | Environmental Management | Collective Data Pools | BioInformatics | Systems Biology | Sleep DIsruption | Extreme Environment Survival | Micro-Gravity | Spaceflight |


Leaving the Hab


Returning to the surface after days or weeks in the Aquarius requires the crew to spend 18 hours in decompression, allowing the gases which accumulate in each aquanaut’s body to dissipate slowly. Once the decompression period is over, aquanauts must make the swim to the surface within an hour to keep from restarting the saturation process again.