For a dozen years, French designer Jacques Rougerie has had his idea of a totally sustainable and mobile vertical sea vessel dismissed as a sci-fi pipe dream. Against all odds though, his dream vessel is looking more and more like it might actually get built thanks to the power of crowdfunding.
The sustainable research vessel will rely on solar, wave, and wind power to move around the planet’s ocean, studying local ecology and marine life. The 170-foot tall vessel will be approximately two-thirds submerged at all times, both for stability and to allow scientists and front-row look at the ocean life around them.
It’s an incredible, sci-fi sort of idea that seems improbable, but Rougerie has spent a lot of time and effort rallying technical and financial support for the project. All the modeling and technical issues have been worked out in scale vessels, and the project is looking to raise 325,000 Euro, or about $426,000 for the first phase of the project, which is expected to cost around $43 million to complete.
From science fiction to science reality? Only if the crowdfunding campaign takes off, though the project has more than two months to raise the money.