Unfortunately, it seems the sixties are remembered mostly for the big movements in history, including Vietnam, Woodstock, Baby Boomers, and the Apollo Space Program. However, during these years, a lot was going on that have seemingly been forgotten today. One of these is the Sealab series of experiments, conducted by the United States Navy.
Starting in Panama City and then Bermuda in 1964, the Sealab series attempted to study and live underseas for longer amounts of time than ordinary diving/dive suits could accomplish. With a specialized structure no bigger than 40′ by 9′, four “aquanauts”, as they were called, lived and worked together on experiments and other specialized duties. These projects, while many were ordinary, sometimes were extraordinary, and used new methodologies of living under the ocean. One of these was Tuffy, a project for Sealab II.
However, as turbulent as things were in other areas of then-current life, Sealab was no stranger to this as well. The Sealab III series of experiments was marked by leaks, abortive rescues, and unexplained sabotage (dismissed by many), resulting in the death of one of the participants. In his book, The Silent War: The Cold War Battle Beneath the Sea, John Craven said this:
“…We agreed that there had to have been multiple acts of sabotage….” (3)
I’ve assembled some good links below that will give you the more complete version of the Sealab story as well as a museum link. Read on to find which astronaut ended up in this program! Enjoy the story!
Have a great day, see you tomorrow!