‘Blue Abyss’ Astronaut Training Facility Under Construction In UK

Complete research and training center will begin operation in 2019.

July 2, 2017 5:00 am

“Blue Abyss” sounds like either a science-fiction thriller or a new Bjork album, but it’s actually the name of a commercial astronaut training facility that’s currently under construction.

Once complete, Blue Abyss will offer hypobaric and hyperbaric chambers, a centrifuge to simulate high-G flight, and a 120-room hotel. But its pièce de résistance is the 50-meter (164 feet) deep buoyancy pool.

Blue Abyss Diving
(Blue Abyss)

The pool will be used to introduce tomorrow’s private astronaut to the rigors of space flight, and is significantly deeper than NASA’s 12 meter buoyancy lab. It, and the rest of the facility, will also be used to test underwater equipment for deep sea exploration.

The project’s construction comes at a groundswell of support for the UK’s space program, including new legislation to develop spaceports and vertically-launched rocket and satellite launches.

Blue Abyss will occupy RAF Henlow, and should be fully staffed and operational by 2020. Scroll down to watch a brief video about the facility’s goals.

Blue Abyss Diving
(Blue Abyss)

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