The Scott Carpenter
Space Analog Station (SCSAS – or - Station) was designed by Dennis Chamberland
with the assistance of marine engineer, Joseph M. Bishop. The undersea
habitat was constructed by Precision Fabricating, Inc., a Cocoa, Florida
based steel company. Work on the habitat began in the fall of 1996
and the steel shell of the craft was completed in the spring. The
habitat was then moved to historic Complex 34 on the northern edge of the
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Complex 34 was the site of the
tragic Apollo 1 fire in 1967. Once ready for sea, the habitat became
one of only four operational undersea habitats in the world at that time.
The Station’s original
concept was presented to the NASA Space Life Sciences Outreach Group a
year earlier by Dennis Chamberland, a member of that group. Just
two years before, Chamberland had successfully utilized the Marine Lab
habitat in Key Largo to plant and harvest the first agricultural crop grown
in a habitat on the ocean floor. That project was called the Ocean
project. Following the success of that venture, Chamberland proposed
a NASA designed and constructed habitat to perform basic research and utilize
it as a springboard to communicating the space life sciences using the
ocean floor as an analog to the space environment. The committee,
under the leadership of Dr. Rosalind Grymes, approved the idea.
Work at the Kennedy
Space Center began under the leadership of Chamberland and with the support
and encouragement of his managment, led by Dr. William M. Knott III.
At Complex 34, the task of outfitting the craft for its first submergence
was undertaken. Joseph Bishop was to take the craft from its shell
to a fully functional unit ready for submergence and operation. In
just four months, Bishop, Chamberland and team successfully outfitted and
tested the Station and certified it ready for its first seafloor venture.
In late August, 1997 the station rolled out of Complex 34 for Key Largo,