Dates and schedule tentative! Tickets will become available once we confirm the dive timing. We have left prior dates and schedule below as examples.
The offshore visit to Aquarius Reef Base is limited to 5 qualified SCUBA divers who are Dent Passport holders. The option to spend the night undersea is limited to a minimum AND maximum of 4 divers. Non-divers are welcome to participate in the onshore dinners and social experiences in Islamorada, FL and Boca Raton.
Aquarius Reef Base, which is owned and operated by FIU (Florida International University) is the world’s only full-time underwater laboratory dedicated to science and education. We will spend time learning from former NASA Astronaut (and Denter) Cady Coleman how astronauts are trained for life aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) program — sends groups of astronauts, engineers and scientists to live in Aquarius for up to three weeks at a time. For NASA, Aquarius provides a convincing analog to the International Space Station, and NEEMO crewmembers experience some of the same tasks and challenges underwater as they would in space.
In addition to the above-ground programming, Dent:Astronaut Training Experience participants will get to SCUBA dive to the underwater research station and tour the inside, as well as view any space-themed experiments and/or structures that may be situated outside the sea base.
As always with Dent, you’ll forge relationships with other creative and entrepreneurial people that will last a lifetime, and you’ll come away refreshed, energized, and with great new perspective.
There is no charge for the day trip tour dive. Boat transport, tour staff and core equipment (tanks, regulators, BC’s) will be provided to divers.
Joining Aquarius researchers will be Dent conference speaker and retired NASA astronaut Cady Coleman. Cady flew twice on the space shuttle Columbia and spent almost 6 months on the ISS making for a total of 180 days in space. Her first journey to space came as a mission specialist in 1995, when space shuttle Columbia carried the US Microgravity Laboratory into space for its second mission on STS-73, a precursor mission to the space station.
She returned for STS-93 in 1999, also on Columbia, as the lead mission specialist for the deployment of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In December 2010, Coleman launched into space for a third time onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, for a six-month stay onboard the space station, serving as the lead science officer, lead robotics officer and flight engineer for Expedition 26/27.
Dive participants must be certified open water divers, and will need to provide credentials and completed health forms before arriving at Key Largo.
Aquarius Reef Base is an active research facility, and is not open to the public. It is primarily utilized by the US NAVY, NASA, and academic researchers.
Weather can affect access to the facility. The safety of the participants and our hosts is of primary importance, so postponement of the dive due to weather is a possibility.
A small number of participants may opt to spend the night in the underwater base along with Astronaut Cady Coleman who will provide more in-depth detail about her time with the NASA NEEMO program. Confirmation of this option’s fulfillment requires a firm commitment from four qualified divers (minimum 4, maximum 4).
An overnight visit requires a donation of $5,000 per participant, to be paid directly to the Aquarius facility to help maintain the base equipment and fund research that helps preserve the ocean habitat in southern Florida.
While Dent and Aquarius will be providing the divers with the core non-overnight Aquarius experience (access to the facility, guides, boat transport, some dive gear) etc. This is otherwise a no-host event, which means that all meals, travel, and lodging are the responsibility of the individual participants unless otherwise noted.
Several airport and lodging options exist for travelers. Both Miami (MIA) and Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) airports are convenient destinations. Most experienced Aquarius visitors choose to fly into FLL and stay at Ocean Pointe Suites (500 Burton Dr, Tavernier, FL 33070).
Due to the risk of rescheduling, It is recommended that travelers do not book non-refundable airfares prior to May 2, 2018.
Note that the following timings are for those who are not spending the night aboard Aquarius. A special schedule will be added should we get our minimum/maximum of 4 overnight divers.
|Friday, August 10|
|Morning||Flight Arrivals in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
|Afternoon||Drive to Islamorada, check in, rent needed dive gear
Tanks, BCs, and regulators are provided by Aquarius.
|6:30pm||Group dinner & astronaut briefing
Guide: Astronaut Cady Coleman
Former NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman will brief the diving group on her experiences in the NEEMO program at Aquarius and what to look for on the dive the following day.
|Saturday, August 11|
|8:00am||Arrival and orientation at shore base
Location will be provided to participants
|10:00am||Boats Leave Dock|
Location: At sea
Dive groups arrive at the Aquarius location. Divers will have the opportunity to tour the exterior of the Aquarius facility as well as visit the interior. The schedule will be adjusted depending on the number of boats and dive groups.
Location: At sea
After a break, divers will rotate activities and enter the water for their second dive. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the exterior of the Aquarius facility as well as visit the interior. The schedule will be adjusted depending on the number of boats and dive groups.
|4:00pm||Return to shore base|
Note that divers need to wait 24 hours after surfacing from 2nd dive before flying.
|Sunday, August 12|
Pack and Check Out
|Afternoon||Drive North to Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/Boca RatonM
Option to fly out, or attend (really fun) dinner in Boca
|Evening||Optional dinner at Jet and Mark Widick’s house