The oceanic exploration and technology organization DEEP this week announced its #OccupyMare mission to “Make Humanity Aquatic.”
On November 3rd, 2026 a crew of six fully-trained crew will be deployed to DEEP’s newly unveiled Sentinel oceanic habitat system, beginning the era of humanity’s continuous presence underwater:
“This is the vision of DEEP: our species becoming a natural part of the oceanic biomes and environments, developing a deeper understanding and wisdom, and co-existing sustainably with a thriving ocean. For more than two years DEEP’s design, research, and engineering efforts have been underway, working in strict secrecy from its dedicated engineering center in Bristol, United Kingdom. Over a hundred and thirty engineering, design, diving and medical professionals are working globally to realize DEEP’s mission to Make Humanity Aquatic.”
The Sentinel habitat system is deployable anywhere on the planet’s continental shelf and operates at ambient pressure in depths of up to 200m/656ft. The system is engineered to be modular and reconfigurable, with the smallest configuration allowing for rotating crews of six, who live and work continuously in the habitat for 28 days before cycling back to the surface. The system’s modularity allows Sentinels to be recovered, reconfigured, upgraded and redeployed on different missions and in different locations over the course of their operating lives.
According to Steve Etherton, president (EMEA):
“The Sentinel platform is not a product, it is a system, comprising the Sentinel habitat itself, of course, but also the next generation of DEEP submersibles, suits and a holistic training and safety operating system developed and delivered through the DEEP Institute at our Campus. While the Sentinel system is undeniably ground-breaking, it represents only a first step in building a robust organization to enable deeper understanding of the ocean. NASA is not a rocket manufacturer, and likewise DEEP is not only a Sentinel manufacturer.”
Numerous habitat systems have been developed by nation states, military organizations, and private enterprises in the past. DEEP brings together the latest developments in materials science, human factors and dive medicine, design and engineering as well as additive manufacturing, all of which make possible for the first time quantum leaps forward in four core areas of habitat feasibility: safety; autonomy; modularity/reconfigurability; and habitability.
Dawn Kernagis, NASA crew member for the NEEMO XXII undersea mission, Vice Chair for Neurosurgery Research at the University of North Carolina, Explorers Club Fellow and first recipient of the US Office of Naval Research Undersea Medicine Program’s Predoctoral Award, says:
“DEEP is leading the way in development and expansion of novel approaches for a sustained intersection of deep-sea and humanity. As has been demonstrated through a continuous presence in space, time and exposure to a unique environment has led to significant breakthroughs in science, engineering, and thirst to extend our reach beyond our planet. Similar to those that established a human space residency, DEEP is creating a future where a continuous sea presence will drive the expansion of subsea research and exploration, preservation, and an improved understanding of our interconnection with our ocean.”
For more info, go to deep.com.