Hear Senator Glenn Introduce the 
SCSAS Challenge Program

 

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, Florida.

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